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Steve Foss

Chainsaws: An addict's perspective

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I started to respond to Powerstroke's post in the Husky chainsaw thread, but realized there just oughta be a thread to celebrate chainsaws and folks who love to run them, or who run them for a living, too.

Now, Powerstroke is as loyal to Stihl as I am. I started cutting with them in 1977, and while I've cut with other saws, including Sachs-Dolmar (now just Dolmar-Makita), Jonsered, Mac, Poulan, Homelite and Husqvarna, it's been a love affair between me and Stihl for over 30 years.

Chime in, HSOers. What saws do you have? Which saws do you like? What do you like about chainsaws in general? smilesmile

There are differences between homeowner and pro class saws. Homeowner saws from excellent manufacturers can last years and years and years for casual to medium use applications, if they are well maintained and thoughtfully used. For guys making their living by making chips, the pro class saws (not just Stihl, mind you), offer that extra durability and ease of rebuilding/servicing.

I ain't gonna get into a Ford/Dodge/Chevy thing, cause I've been a Chevy man for as long as I've been a Stihl guy. They all drive and cut good if you treat them right.

These days I'm running 6 Stihls from 40 to 90cc (plus a tough ultralight little Tanaka for up the ladder), and only my lightest old Stihl gal (011AVEQ) isn't considered a "pro" model. Lots and lots of arborists (tree service specialists) adopt the Stihl 2-saw plan of the MS200T and MS460Mag. Between them, they are a fine one-two punch for work in the tree and on the ground. I ended up getting my 460 ported, and it is a real ripper! Throw a 20-inch bar on the 460 and it's a great firewood saw. Stock, it'll pull a 28-inch bar with full comp chain with authority, and a ported 460 will easily pull a 32-inch bar and full comp chain buried in hardwood.

But, IMO, for most guys, pro saws are overkill and money not well spent. I cut a LOT of cords of hardwood with a Stihl MS290, probably the most popular top-brand homeowner saw sold for the last gazillion years (and still only about $350 new), and me old 290 is out there in different hands in firewood land cutting up a storm. Lots of Huskies, Jreds and Dolmars doing the same thing. We have a Jred 2153C at the lake cabin. Does everything we need it to do out there.

Saws. Mmmmmm. wink

Here's my current lineup: 660Mag, 460Mag, 038Mag, 028Super, 026, 011AVEQ, and the Tanaka. The three largest saws are ported and/or milled and muffler modified to add punch to the power-to-weight ratio. Sorry guys for the overkill. I've been a saw ho since I was 15, worked as an arborist for several years back when bell-bottom jeans were in fashion, have never been without one or two saws since, but have gotten back into saws and tree work the last few years. I know, it's kind of sick. For arborist and firewood work, all I really NEED are the 026 and 460. OK, and maybe the little one-hand Tanaka when ya gotta be nimble. The rest is just Stihl obsession, and maybe is a bit embarrassing. The 028S is a sentimental favorite. It was the first saw I ever actually owned, and it did 90 percent of my tree work out in N.D. lo those many years ago. I'd bet the 028 is one of Stihl's top two or three most popular pro designs over time. It's outdated now, with no current pro model to continue the tradition (The MS280 doesn't even come close.) The 038M is its bigger brother, and I've always liked those older round-butt Stihl saws. Because of their profile, the two are easy to pick out in the photo.

Hey, some guys collect fishing lures! shockedshocked

seven-saw-plan.jpg

And I'll add the perspective that personal protection equipment such as kevlar chaps/pants, helmet/ear/eye protection cost about $150, but have saved many a sawyer (weekend warrior and pro alike) from disfigurement or death. I'm no PPE Nazi, and believe everyone should be free to do as they will in this regard. Just a word to the wise. smilesmile

Have fun cutting out there, and be safe! grin

As a bonus, here's my daughter this spring two weeks before her due date (with my first grandchild), helping us clear dead/unwanted trees at the lake cabin. She's wearing PPE and handling the Stihl 026. Grandson Zachary Robert (ZBob, I call him), was at the time only a foot away from the roar of a Stihl. Kind of like reading to the child in the womb, Jackpine Savage style. gringringrin

Is she a chip off the old block or what? I bought ZBob a plastic Stihl key fob for teething. winkwink

Heather-026.jpg

So chime in with your own perspectives on chainsaws. Pics are good, but not necessary. Stories are REALLY good! smilesmile

My name is Steve, and I'm a Stihlaholic. grin

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Not a PPE nazi but you must be a saw nazi!!! I've never seen that many used saws so clean in my life! I don't really have any experience with husky saws but have a lot of experience with stihl pro model saws and even for the occasional cutter I wouldn't recommend anything but. It's something you will have for pretty much the rest of an average persons life unless doing cutting for money then you may go through a few. Been in the tree business for a while and we beat the [PoorWordUsage] out of them and they keep going like crazy.

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Not a PPE nazi but you must be a saw nazi!!! I've never seen that many used saws so clean in my life! I don't really have any experience with husky saws but have a lot of experience with stihl pro model saws and even for the occasional cutter I wouldn't recommend anything but. It's something you will have for pretty much the rest of an average persons life unless doing cutting for money then you may go through a few. Been in the tree business for a while and we beat the [PoorWordUsage] out of them and they keep going like crazy.

Yeah, loggers and arborists alike talk about how long Stihls last when they get the snot beat out of them. I know the world ain't made up of Stihlies. I'm just saying.

And my saws get used a lot. But I'm a photographer too, so when I'm taking a portrait I like to slick them up a bit, not to mention that a wider angle group shot like this makes the dings, scars and scratches of individual saws harder to see. And, well, compressed air is a blessing for guys like us. winkwink

I will admit that the Sugi bar was new in the photo, and I used a bit of Photoshop magic on the Stihl bars to get them ready for the personals. gringrin

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I gotta say, that is a cool photo!

I have a confession to make--as cool as I think chain saws are, I have never used one, and frankly, they kind of scare the bejesus out of me (I'm already down one finger due to a lost fight with a table saw). My bro-in-laws run Huskies at our cabin; I usually pull stacking/spliting duty. Someday, I'll get over that.

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Steve,

That is a great photo and a wonderful essay! While I cannot compare my experience to yours, I can share some interesting stories. I too have been cutting wood for a long time and not just firewood. I started out back around 1980 with a Power Mac 6 from McCulloch, which at the time was the lightest saw available at only 6 pounds. A friend and I had a local tree trimming business and I was the climber, so that saw was perfect. A little while later I bought a Pro Mac 700 (70cc) to cut the bigger stuff. I still have the PM700 today and it still runs great. I wore the main bearings on that little 6 out and now use a Jonsred Pro 38 for the lightweight work. It is nicely balanced with the handle on top of the engine and can be used for one handed work when necessary.

I have been an avid woodworker most of my life and shortly after I got the PM700 I heard of the “Alaskan Mill” attachment to rip lumber from logs. Being a devout DIY guy, I built my own mill attachment and set it up on a 28” bar. To maximize the saw’s power, I used a .404 skip tooth chisel chain, modified to have every other tooth a raker. Over the years I probably cut over 1000 board feet of lumber this way. Needless to say, I got rather good at filing chain!

I also experimented with synthetic lubricants, starting about 20 years ago with an oil sold by Grandberg that was rated for 100:1 mix. Most of the lumber cut with the PM 700 was fueled at 100:1, and with the saw run at WOT and heavy loads. Today, it still runs excellent, a testimony to lubricity of that synthetic oil.

It’s a little sad to look back now that McCulloch is history and realize that the saw that has run so good over time is now obsolete. I guess I’ll keep it running as best I can until something that cannot be replaced finally fails. Who knows, maybe then I’ll join the club and buy a Stihl!

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Ralph, I'm still a bit afraid of them, even after 30 years. It's good to be a little bit afraid. Keeps you alert. smilesmile

Hydro, cool story and perspective. I've been a carpenter and woodworker for a long time, too, and have come close to getting one of those Alaskan mills a couple times. No room where I am right now for a milling operation, and not much real nice lumber up here, anyway. If I was 100 miles south or west in prime oak and maple country, you betcha! I think the milled/ported 660 would do a bang-up job milling with a skip chain on a 36-inch bar. Very little lumber wood in northern MN a 36-inch bar can't handle.

I use Amsoil synthetic in all my 2-stroke motors, and of course within the chainsaw community all you have to do is say synthetic at 100:1 to start a bar fight. gringrin

I mix my Amsoil at 50:1 or 40:1 in all my 2-strokes. While I think Amsoil is a great synthetic, even after using it for years with great results I'm leery of going 100:1. I deal almost exclusively with used motors when I buy tools, and I'll tell you that running several tanks of Amsoil at 50:1 (really, substitute any high quality synthetic here) has cleaned, smoothed out and increased apparent power on many a motor gunked up with the cheapest conventional oils.

No, NOT trying to start an oil argument, anyone. But I do find your results with 100:1 intriguing. Milling is one of the tasks hardest on a chainsaw motor, with all those long cuts at full throttle, and if you've been running synthetics at 100:1 in your milling saw for that many board feet, that's saying something. Have you ever pulled the saw apart to examine the piston, rings and cylinder? Or even pulled the carb and muffler to take a look at the piston and rings? If they are all clean, I'd say that's pretty strong evidence that a synthetic rated for 100:1 is doing its job.

I hear you on the old Macs. Those saws were ahead of their time. Too bad the company got sold and the saws went down the tank. But that's a different thread! smilesmile

I ran a Poulan 4200 back before Poulan Wild Things were all the rage, in the days when Poulan was one of the respected names in the saw business. That saw cut a LOT of wood for me at 10,000 feet in Colorado and never missed a beat in that thin air. Well, didn't hurt that it was all SPF or aspen (soft woods). I've got my eye on an old Homelite EZ Super that's been sitting in an old fellow's garage since he bought it new a gazillion years ago. Yeah, like I NEED another saw. Homelite is another one of those companies that produced top quality saws for many years.

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I run a part-time tree service and most of mine are Stihls. Line up now: 025,029,390, and 75 power pole saw. I have an Echo climbing saw because its lighter weight than the Stihl and I'm an old man. Also a Husky climbing saw that has a great power to weight ratio. I've retired a stihl 011, 028, and 031. I tried to run too much bar on the bigger ones and paid the price. The 011 just got used up. There are other brands that probably would serve me as well as the Stihls but the Stihl dealers are great about service and parts and the hardware and big box stores that sell other brands aren't. My sons also seem to be buying Stihl saws too, since that's what they grew up using----and borrowing.

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Thanks for the comments Steve, it’s nice to hear someone who actually has some real perspective on the synthetic oil topic.

I agree with your comments on the 100:1 mix ratio issue and I have to say that most of the vocal people on that subject really have little objective experience to base their opinions on, but argue hard anyway. On my PM700 I have had the carb off for cleaning, and since it is piston ported, I was able to look at the piston skirt and rings, and they still look fine with no scuffing or ring bind. Compression is still good so that says something for the oil that was used. These days I still use the Grandberg oil (I bought a case of it a while back) but I mix it at 64:1 simply because it’s easy to drop one ounce in a half gallon can, and I don’t use the fuel fast enough to use up larger quantities.

On the other side of the argument, my little Power Mac 6 did wear out while running the same fuel mix. It eventually wore the main sleeve bearing on the flywheel side out of round, so maybe the 100:1 was not enough oil for that type of bearing. BTW, I gave that saw to a friend and it is still running today. In my opinion, the bearings in a motor are the limiting factor in oil requirements, and since most chain saws and outboards are fully rollerized they are good candidates for the leaner ratios. On a side note, some of the smaller OMC outboards in the mid 80’s were actually rated by the factory for 100:1 oil mix. We had a couple at out resort and ran them at that mix on standard OMC oil and they never showed any problems related to lubrication.

If you ever did look at a chain saw mill, that 660 would be a good fit. For a good read, look up chain saw milling in the archives of Fine Woodworking magazine. They have a pictorial of how to set up and sharpen the chain for maximum cutting speed. I added an auxiliary oil tank that held about a half gallon of oil to the top of the rig since you go through a LOT of bar oil when in the cut. My saw only had a 28” bar and never found a log too big around here that I could not cant and rip. I ripped through many a tough old elm that put the saw’s torque to the task. I cut red elm (my favorite), white elm, butternut, red oak, maple, white oak (toughest stuff I cut), hackberry, and anything else I could get my hands on. I’m sitting at a table made from red elm as I type. Still have a bunch of boards in the shed today.

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Fantastic reading. Steve, I laughed my arse off when I read your doting about your daughter running the saw. The perspective is fantastic.

I will right my true contribution to this thread tomorrow. Its given me something to think about.

I'm very interested in doing the home milling. I'll have to look at that more. I'll save the rest for tomorrow.

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Although I don't spend the time cutting wood like many of you guys, I bought a Stihl MS310 with a 20" bar about 6 years ago. My dad did a lot of tree work during his employment with the city (Dutch Elm era). At that time, their main saws were Homelites. They now use Shindaiwa.

The first time my dad wrapped his lunch hooks onto the Stihl, his eyes immediately lit up like a speed freak in a top fuel dragster for the first time. He didn't want to put it down. Although he's no longer in the health to be out cutting firewood, he's a closet Stihl fan. grin He's used the Homelites and Shindaiwas for so many years so he's a bit brand loyal.

But for me, it's all Stihl.

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I'll start by saying I'm a city boy, but not by choice. I grew up in N. Minneapolis and the only motor I knew how to run was a lawnmower.

In an effort to get more experience I took a job with the Minnesota Conservation Corps at 19yrs old. The MCC is the modern version of the depression-era CCC. I was the youngest guy in our group and had never used a chainsaw, let alone held one. In a few days I learned everything there was to know about running, cleaning and maintaining a saw. The DNR used all Stihl saws. Mostly 026's with a couple Farm Boss 360 or 390's. The MCC did various jobs for the DNR, for other gov't agencies or for non-profits who contracted us. I did everything from small scale logging to exotic species removal, and primarily more of the latter. Some of my finest work can be viewed along the Mississippi River near St. Thomas University.

When I took a real job with a large nationwide tree company, I was told the only name in professional tree-work was Stihl. Our company had a corporate contract and we had nothing but Stihl. I bought an MS 200T right away. We bought our own saw and received a "saw wage" as a rental fee for using our own equipment. Having guys own their saws created responsibility. Only a foreman owned a "big saw". I bought mine after 4yrs. An MS 460. We had the choice of bar size. I was only 24yrs old and thought bigger was better. That 28" bar does some mean things. The only downside is we could only buy safety chains.

6 years later I still own both theses saws and they run like tops.

After busting my butt for profits, I decided to aim for quality. People can say what they want about city workers, but some of the best city workers started working in private business. The city was flush with saws, and mechanics who fix saws and accounts for purchasing parts. I used a different brand for the first time. The city owned 11 saws of various sizes covering the big 3, Stihl, Husquvarna and Jonsered. I quickly learned what I liked and didn't like.

The Jon is a nice saw, especially in the mid-size. I like their decompression the best. The Stihl has some unique designs that are a little annoying when shopping for parts, but I still think they are the best out there.

Any average Joe can make a homelite, echo, poulan or craftsman last a long time if you cut wood at camp or in the yard a couple times a year. When you use a saw 5-8 hours a day, 4-6 days a week you need a saw built to last. It is tough and easy to service. Give me a Stihl!! At work we have Stihl backpack blowers, Stihl chop saws for cutting pipe or asphalt Sthil trimmers with convertable heads and Stihl polesaws. The only thing that puts one down, is not using mixed gas. That never happens in a business, but when you don't own the equipment, you're not as careful.

I'll try to get a pic of mine. They aren't as pretty as Steve's, but that's okay, I know I'm prettier than Steve. But we all know looks aren't everything. I'd love to buy another saw that falls inbetween the two I have. I also want the backpack blower. My wife gets more hours on the leaf blower than I do. She loves it.

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Great stuff, Andy! Thanks for sharing it. Now I know more about you than a did 10 minutes ago. smile

My saws ain't that pretty when they're on the job, but they do clean up OK for pics. Kinda like me. gringrin

Think about an MS362 to fall in between your 200T and 460. It's a strato design, but the strato saws have already proven themselves. And compared with either of your current saws, the 362 will sip gas. Better filtration and some other key features as well. Just a bit heavier than its predecessor (non strato MS361), but very nice. I got to cut with one recently. Strong design advances since the 460 came out.

Put a 20-inch Rollomatic ES bar and full comp Stihl non-safety RSC chain on that 362 and you'll really like it! The 200T for up the ladder/ropes, 460 for felling/bucking big wood and the 362 for felling/bucking 90 percent of your day-to-day work. And the mid-range saw will take some of the load off your two other saws, extending the lives of all three. In fact, you can leave the 28-inch bar on the 460 and only trot it out for the big stuff. Honestly, with full skip chain, the 460 will pull a 36-inch B&C with enough authority to get the job done, though I imagine with your situations there's not much a 28-inch B&C couldn't handle.

If budget means a new saw isn't feasible, lots of used 360/361s out there with plenty of life left in them.

And if you're running 3/8 sprockets/chain on all three saws, you never have to phart around with different file sizes. Heck, you might even buy a roll of 3/8 chain and start making your own loops! I'm not to that point yet, but only the 011 (low profile picco) wears anything different. All my other Stihls run 3/8. Makes it nice. smile

Great 3-saw plan.

Well taken care of, as I'm sure your saws are, they'll last you several more years. If memory serves, most pro-class Stihls will yield about 2,500 to 3,000 hours with proper care/maintenance.

Chainsaws. Mmmmmmmmm. gringrin

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Stihl for me. MS 290 (FarmBoss) with 18 inch bar and more chains than I know what to do with (found a couple in our woods this spring after the snow melt and a couple in the back of my pickup when I traded it in this summer). I cut quite a bit of firewood every summer and the saw is great!

I also own a Stihl weed whipper.

Stihl makes great products and it is easy to find Stihl certified repair shops (can think of 3 within 10 miles of my place).

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2 Stihls for me. I picked up a 036 or 038 with a 24" bar for cutting my heating wood when I lived in Alaska 20 years ago. Cutting 20" diameter hemlocks was work but the saw went thru it but man it got heavy after a couple of hours. I had a kinda close call with it and realized I needed to pace myself and stretch out my cutting so I wouldn't get tired. My safety rules are now no cutting if I'm tired or had any alcohol. The second part of that rule gets me out of some work at the cabin now a days. I do have to get myself some chaps. I always wear safety glasses and a helmet with ear muffs.

I picked up a little 026 (I think) 8 years ago. That covers most of my cutting now, except for larger items or ripping logs. I got an attachment for my big saw and had a chain cut flat so I can rip logs. It is fairly slow cutting, even on Cedar. I made a nice picnic table for the cabin and a really nice picnic table for the deer camp. I too like my chainsaws!

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I forgot to add on about the safety gear. I am an absolute stickler about this and won't compromise. You will always find me with Stihl helmet like in Steve's pic with safety glasses, ear plugs or muffs, leather gloves and chaps.

I personally have cut into chaps several times. Twice they've saved my leg. Had I not been wearing them I surely would have a much different left leg. The most tedious job I don't mind doing if pulling all the little threads out of the saw sprocket after hitting the chaps. If you've never seen the demonstration of stopping a saw on chaps its worth your time. First cut is done on a watermelon without chaps, second cut done with chaps wrapped on that melon.

The final thing I harp on is cutting "one-handed". I don't care how small a saw is or if the handle looks like its made for only one hand, its a recipe for disaster. I know too many guys with less than the standard of fingers because of this. Its too much power to be holding in one hand.

I know no one likes a safety nazi, but its become my passion. Enjoy your saws, but always protect yourself.

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I won't cut at all without the helmet assembly, gloves and Kevlar chaps. Too many close calls over the years that, like in Andy's case, could have been really ugly without PPE.

The chaps pictured are full-wrap Labonville chaps, I highly recommend them. I just picked up a Peltor helmet. Like the Stihl helmet pictured it's got the face mesh and earmuffs, but also has a rear plastic bib that covers the back of the neck so you can cut in hot sun or rain, and a plastic bib also is mounted between the top of the face shield and the helmet so no chips/sawdust can get into your eyes through the gap. At only about $50, the Peltor costs the same as the Stihl and has those two extra features.

I keep thinking I'm going to spring for Kevlar lined chainsaw boots but haven't yet. I've got a great pair of Carolina steel toe boots with the steel flap that runs part way up over the front laces, so there's some protection offered.

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Well I have to change the color up some and say that I run Jonsered. I have run others (mainly stihl) and still like the Jonsered. Dad's firs one that I started with was an old 70E. Still works like a top today. Pretty much just keep an older chain on that one now for work around dirty logs or where there may be old fence through a tree etc. Now have two additional 2171's.

Should mention however that I have a Stihl weed trimmer/brush cutter and a stihl pole saw however.

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Steve I have a stihl 028 wb and wondering how big of bar and chain it will handel. It is the only saw I have now looking to ad a 14" stihl to the fleet some thinig a little liter for clearing brush and cutting up small limbs any secrets to sealing a bar oil tank I think it is leaking betwen the case halves thanks for any in put oh also have a stihl combi tool string trimmer brush saw love that thing thanks Bret

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Bret, you need to stay with the pitch of your current drive sprocket (either 3/8 or .325). Look at the base of your bar and it'll tell you whether it's .325 or 3/8. Your sprocket should have the pitch stamped on it, too. Most likely 3/8, but could be either. No matter which it is, I wouldn't got over an 18-inch B&C. The 16-inch is optimum on that saw, but 18 will work fine, too. You could go 20-inch in spruce/pine/fir, but even softwood like that will be a bit much for the saw if the bar is totally buried. If you are working smaller wood and don't want to have to bend down as much, a 20-inch B&C works well.

As for the leaking oil, if you're sure it's leaking out of the case seam, other than splitting the case and resealing it, your only real option is to drain the oil, let the saw sit for a couple days to make sure it's REALLY drained, clean and scour the outside of the seam, dry it completely, and apply JB Weld. JB does a ton of great things. Make sure you give it a full day or two to harden before moving on. Since the bar oil reservoir isn't under much pressure, the JB Weld ought to work well if you prep the surface as mentioned.

The first ever saw I ran as a pro was an 028WB, and I have a soft spot in my heart for that saw. I do own an 028 series saw these days, but it's an 028 Super, which has a good bit more beef than the Wood Boss. Those 028 series saws were darn near bulletproof with care and maintenance, and there are hundreds of thousands of those saws still making money out in the woods, on the woodpiles and in the back yards today. smile

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Does all the oil leak out? I believe it is normal for a small amount of bar oil to "leak" out. Both my Stihl's do that and I've been told that it is normal by a Stihl service shop.

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I have the same problem, if my 026 pro sits 5-6 months the bar oil will be gone. my 192t never leaks!

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It depends on where the leak is. Since the bar oil comes out with gravity and being pulled out as the chain moves, its possible that oil is seeping out onto the chain while the saw is just sitting.

If you notice the oil is leaking from a seam or the filler cap, then you need to find the leak and seal it.

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Hey guys thanks for all the help I will stick with the 18" b/c. Just want to get a smaller saw little less weight Just thought a bigger spread would be nice but I only cut wood for smoking meat and camp fires not for heating. The leak is going to get envestigated more it seems to be geting worse I got a new cap and looking in to a o ring or what ever is behind that plug below the filler but it does leak all the oil out in may be two to three weaks. Thanks again Bret

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Bret, as mentioned, most of my Stihl saws drool some bar oil after use. Take paper towels and thoroughly dry the whole oil tank area. Fill the bar oil reservoir completely and run the saw for 15 mintues or so cutting wood. Then pull off the bar and chain, lay the saw on a square chunk of 2x4 so it's elevated, and keep an eye on it so you see where the oil is leaking. It's easier if you run something like Poulan oil, which is bright red (or at least used to be) because it's easy to see where it's leaking. Transmission fluid is another good option for the experiment, for the same reason.

You may just have the typical Stihl drooling problem. You'll know that's it if the oil pools under the round metal clutch drum or out the small oiler hole by the front bar nut. If it's that, nothing you can really do about it. If you do actually have cap/rubber ring or seam leakage, you'll be able to tell.

I have one Stihl saw (an 034 AV Super) that will leak out everything left in the oil tank after use, so I just make sure I run it almost out of oil as I finish cutting.

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    • They’re better off waiting until the trade deadline, where teams might be more willing to give up more. In theory, because it’s a contract year, Butler should put up good numbers, even if he doesn’t want to be here.
    • NORTHEAST IOWA FISHING REPORTS Cedar River (above Nashua)
      The river is rising and extremely muddy. Boating is not recommended. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for current water level information. Walleye -Slow. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use chicken liver, stink bait or dead chubs. Catfish will be in a slow pocket or area out of the current.  Decorah District Streams
      Small game hunting seasons are open in Iowa. Many trout streams flow through areas with hunting. Wear bright colors. Due to recent rain, streams will be stocked depending on stream conditions the day of stocking. Listen to the trout stocking hotline (563-927-5736) for daily information. Brook Trout - Fair: A variety of aquatic and terrestrial insects, like ants and beetles, are more numerous. Try small spinnerbaits and jigs tipped with twister tails. Brown Trout - Good: Hendrickson caddis and cranefly hatches are occurring. Crickets are common along streams now. Use hendrickson gnat or beadhead nymph patterns. Pale yellow, black, brown, and grey colors work best. Rainbow Trout - Fair: Try a piece of worm or small cheese chunk on a hook under a bobber in the deeper holes or floated past an undercut bank. A variety of small spinnerbaits work well. French Creek
      The bridge on Mays Prairie Road (CR X6A) is being replaced. Work is scheduled through mid-November. Access the parking lot from the south. Brown Trout - Good: The best time to fish French Creek is after rain events so fish will be less spooky. This stream rarely turns off color.  Lake Hendricks
      Water temperatures are in the upper 60's. Clarity remains poor. Black Crappie - Slow: Drift a minnow in deeper water. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Try near submersed rocky habitat or depth contours in the early morning.  Channel Catfish - Good: Use a large night crawler fished off the bottom near woody structure. Bluegill - Slow: Activity should pick up with cooler temperatures. Try a small jig tipped with small piece of worm off rocky shoreline or near submersed logs.  Lake Meyer
      Lake clarity is about 5 feet, but will likely be much less after this current rainy period. Water temperatures are in the upper 60's. Few people have been out fishing. Bluegill - Fair: Use a hook tipped with a small piece of worm or cricket under a bobber in deeper water. Channel Catfish - Good: Try stink bait or cut baits fished just off the bottom in the evening. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use topwater baits along weed edges on overcast days and late evenings. Black Crappie - Fair: Use a jig and minnow near submersed structure.  Osborne Pond
      Osborne Pond is currently being renovated. The dam was breached in July and a water retention basin installed. Material will be removed over the winter and new habitat installed in the spring. After repairs to the dam are made, it will be allowed to fill. The pond will then be restocked with bluegill, channel catfish, and largemouth bass.  Turkey River (above Clermont)
      The Turkey River is rising again and muddy. Flows remain high. Boating is not recommended.  Visit the USGS Current Condition website for more information. Boat docks at Vernon Springs are out for the season. Smallmouth Bass - Slow: Try spinner and crankbaits. Walleye - Fair: Use minnows or lures imitating minnows in deep water drop offs. Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
      Water levels are rising with poor water clarity. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for more information. Boating is not recommended. The dock is out at Lime Springs for the season. Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
      The Upper Iowa is rising and clarity is poor. Paddling activities are not recommended. Visit the USGS Current Conditions website for more information.  Volga Lake
      Bluegill - Slow: Find gills along rocky shoreline or suspended deeper. Use a small jig tipped with a small piece of worm. Black Crappie - Slow: Slowly retrieve a lure over structure in deeper water. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use topwater lures over structure or run a jig tipped with a twister tail along a rocky shoreline. Channel Catfish - Good: Use stink bait worms or cut baits fished off the bottom in the evening near woody structure.  Recent rainfall events have turned a majority of area rivers and streams off color and running high. Temperatures are cooling greatly for the weekend. Trout streams are off color and high. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.   Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
      Casey Lake is in good condition with clear water. Bluegill – Good: Try fishing various depths with a piece of crawler under a bobber near the edge of weeds or structure. Largemouth Bass - Good: Use topwater and plastic artificial baits. Black Crappie - Good: Try small pink and white tube jigs or a crappie minnow fished under a slip bobber by the jetties and dam areas in about 4 feet of water.  The recent wet weather may provide a great opportunity to gather up bow hunting gear for the upcoming weekend! Heavy rains and flooding is occurring on all cold and warm water streams and rivers.Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.   MISSISSIPPI RIVER FISHING REPORTS Mississippi River Pool 9
      River level is 8.6 feet at Lansing and is expected to stay stable. Water temperature is near 73 degrees. The Lansing Village Creek ramp is closed through October.  For more updates, call the Guttenberg Fisheries Management office at 563-252-1156. Walleye - Good: Fishing wing dam areas will get easier with a drop in river levels. Use crankbaits or 3-way rigs tipped with crawlers in 8-12 feet of water. Yellow Perch - Excellent: Perch bite has picked up. Many 13 inch fish are being caught with live minnow floated under a bobber. Northern Pike - Good: This time of year pike are attracted to cooler water coming in from springs and tributaries. Cast spoons along the edge of weed beds. Channel Catfish - Good: Try cut bait or stink bait in the main and side channel borders. Largemouth Bass - Good: Look for largemouth in the slack water areas off the main channel or running sloughs. Smallmouth Bass - Excellent: Smallmouth activity has picked up. Cast inline spinners or crankbaits along rock or tree habitat in faster current.  White Bass - Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in main channel current for big white bass. Bluegill - Excellent: Find bluegills in clearer water with slow current in backwater areas away from main channel and sloughs.  Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Freshwater drum are actively biting in areas of current. Drop a heavily weighted worm rig into the current for some big fish action. Black Crappie - Fair: Expect the crappie bite to pick up this fall after the water clarity improves. Try tube jigs or minnow under a bobber in submersed trees in the backwater sloughs.  Mississippi River Pool 10
      River level is 16.4 feet at Lynxville and will stabilize near 15.5 feet next week. Water temperature is 74 degrees at the Lock and Dam 9. Walleye- Good: Fishing wing dam areas will get easier with a drop in river levels. Use crankbaits or 3-way rigs tipped with crawlers in 8-12 feet of water. Yellow Perch - Excellent: Perch bite has picked up. Many 13 inch fish are being caught with live minnow floated under a bobber.  Northern Pike -Good: This time of year pike are attracted to cooler water coming in from springs and tributaries. Cast spoons along the edge of weed beds. Channel Catfish - Good: Try cut bait or stink bait in the main and side channel borders. Bluegill - Excellent: Find bluegills in clearer water with slow current in backwater areas away from main channel and sloughs. Largemouth Bass - Good: Look for largemouth in the slack water areas off the main channel or running sloughs.  Smallmouth Bass - Excellent: Smallmouth activity has picked up. Cast inline spinners or crankbaits along rock or tree habitat in faster current.  White Bass - Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in the main channel current for big white bass. Bluegill - Fair: Find bluegills in clearer water with slow current in backwater areas away from main channel and sloughs.  Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Freshwater drum are actively biting in areas of current. Drop a heavily weighted worm rig into the current for some big fish action. Black Crappie - Fair: Expect the crappie bite to pick up this fall after the water clarity improves. Try tube jigs or minnow under a bobber in submersed trees in the backwater sloughs. Mississippi River Pool 11
      River level at Guttenberg has dropped several feet to 8.9 feet and is expected to reach 7.5 feet by next week. Water temperature is 68 degrees at Lock and Dam 10. Walleye - Good: Fishing wing dam areas will get easier with a drop in river levels. Use crankbaits or 3-way rigs tipped with crawlers in 8-12 feet of water. Yellow Perch - Excellent: The perch bite has picked up. Many 13 inch fish are being caught with a live minnow floated under a bobber.  Northern Pike - Good: This time of year, pike are attracted to cooler water coming in from springs and tributaries. Cast spoons along the edge of weed beds.
      Channel Catfish - Good: Try cut bait or stink bait in the main and side channel borders. Largemouth Bass - Good: Look for largemouth in the slack water areas off the main channel or running sloughs. Smallmouth Bass - Excellent: Smallmouth activity has picked up. Cast inline spinners or crankbaits along rock or tree habitat in faster current.  White Bass - Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in main channel current for big white bass. Bluegill - Excellent: Find bluegills in clearer water with slow current in backwater areas away from main channel and sloughs. Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Freshwater drum are actively biting in areas of current. Drop a heavily weighted worm rig into the current for some big fish action. Black Crappie - Fair: Expect the crappie bite to pick up this fall after the water clarity improves. Try tube jigs or minnow under a bobber in submersed trees in the backwater sloughs.  Upper Mississippi River level is falling back into normal fall range. Look for fish to be more active as they start fall feeding activity. Water temperatures are near 70 degrees.   Mississippi River Pool 12
      Water levels will fluctuate this week, starting at 8.2 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and at 10.7 feet at the RR bridge. Water clarity is fair. The water temperature is around 72 degrees. Channel Catfish - Good:Try stink bait or worms near shore. Channel cats feed heavily near shore during flooded conditions. Freshwater Drum - Good: Most anglers use a simple egg sinker and worm rig. Drum will be hanging out relatively near shore in moderate current areas. Bluegill - Good: Try finding clear water in the upper reaches of backwater areas; use worms and bobber. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Fish the upper ends of backwater areas in cleaner water. Black Crappie - Fair: Use small minnows in the clear upper reaches of backwater areas.  Mississippi River Pool 13
      Water level will fluctuate this week, starting out at 9.2 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam. Water clarity is fair. Avoid large tributary streams as they are muddy. The water temperature is around 73 degrees. The north ramp at Sabula is not in use this year due to bridge construction. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try stink bait or worms near shore. Move often if you are not finding catfish. Freshwater Drum - Good: The drum bite is on. Fish worms with an egg sinker in moderate current areas. Fish near the shorelines if possible. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try frog imitation lures and spinner baits in the upper ends of backwater areas and deep in the vegetated areas. Bluegill - Good: Find the clear water in the upper reaches of large backwater complexes; use a simple bobber and worm. Black Crappie - Fair: Use a small minnow and bobber in the upper reaches of backwaters in clear water.  Mississippi River Pool 14
      Water levels are predicted to fluctuate this week, starting at around 9 feet at Fulton Lock and Dam, 12 feet at Camanche and 6.7 feet at the LeClaire. Water clarity is fair. The water temperature is around 73 degrees. Channel Catfish - Good: Try stink bait or worms near shore or along brush piles. Channel cats feed heavily in flooded waters. Freshwater Drum - Good: Use a simple egg sinker/worm rig in moderate current areas. Walleye - Slow: A few walleye were caught off the bank with jigs and minnows. Bluegill - Good: Use a bobber and worm in the upper reaches of Rock Creek or Cattail Slough.  Mississippi River Pool 15
      Water levels are near 10.2 feet at Rock Island and will rise to 12.3 feet. This level will again approach "action" flood stage, so some boat ramps will be flooded. Water clarity is poor. The water temperature is around 74 degrees. Channel Catfish - No Report: Try stink bait or worms near shore. Fish near shore in flooded waters. Freshwater Drum - No Report: Use an egg sinker and worm rigs fished near shore in moderate current areas.  The water levels will fluctuate this week. Most ramps are usable again, but some will have water on them. If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976. 
    • NORTHWEST IOWA FISHING REPORTS Black Hawk Lake
      Water temperatures are in the low 70's. Water levels are 6 inches over the crest of the spillway. Bluegill - Fair: Use a small jig with a small piece of crawler fished under a bobber in 3-6 feet of water in Town Bay from the stone piers along Ice House Point and near the inlet bridge. Walleye - Slow: Try crawler rigs or crankbaits around Ice House Point, the dredge cut near Denison Beach, and around the rock piles near Gunshot Hill, Cottonwood Point and the East Basin. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Catch largemouth all over the lake using traditional bass lures. There is a 15 inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass in Black Hawk Lake.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Use stink bait, cut bait, or crawler fished on the bottom along Ice House Point and in Town Bay, and along shore near the outlet. Yellow Perch - Fair: Use crawlers fished 3-4 feet below a bobber on the lake side of the inlet bridge and from the stone piers in Town Bay. Brushy Creek Lake
      There is a 15 inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass in Brushy Creek Lake, and a 40 inch minimum length limit for musky. Walleye - Fair: Drift or troll slowly crawler rigs, minnows or leaches in 15-20 feet of water. Yellow Perch - Fair: Find perch along the vegetation and deeper structure. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Catch bass along weed lines near shore just about anywhere with traditional bass lures. There is a 15 inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass in Brushy Creek Lake. Bluegill - Fair: Try tube jigs tipped with crawlers in 10-15 feet of water.  North Twin Lake
      Water temperatures are in the low 70's. Water clarity is around 1.5 feet. White Crappie - Slow: No Report - A recent survey showed most crappie are 6-10 inches with a few up to 14 inches. Walleye - Slow: Walleye up to 27 inches have been seen in recent netting surveys.  Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
      Storm Lake has a daily limit of 3 walleye and all 17- to 22-inch walleye must be released; no more than one walleye longer than 22 inches may be taken per day. Walleye - Fair: Use crawler rigs and troll crankbaits along the edges of the dredge cuts around the lake in 6-10 feet of water. White Bass - Fair: Troll crankbaits or fish crawlers along the dredge cuts.  Water temperatures in Black Hawk District lakes are in the low 70's. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.   Beeds Lake
      The park road will be closed Sept. 19th - 21st due to road construction; there will be no access to the boat ramp. Black Crappie - Fair: Drift fish or troll with a tube jig or small minnow. Yellow Bass - Fair: Drift fish or troll with a small jig. Shore anglers should fish a small piece of crawler or cut bait off the bottom.  Clear Lake
      Surface water temperature is 70 degrees. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use crawlers or cut bait in the areas where water is entering the lake. Black Crappie - Fair: Drift a jig and minnow over deeper submerged vegetation. Yellow Bass - Fair: Drift or troll a small jig tipped with cut bait or a minnow over the reefs until you find fish.  Muskellunge - Fair: Fish the edge of the vegetation and near docks.  Crystal Lake
      Black Crappie - Fair: Drift or troll small tube jigs or a minnow in the dredge cut or on the edge of vegetation. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use crankbaits.  Lake Smith
      Black Crappie - Fair: Drift or troll a small jig or minnow in deeper near the outlet.  For information on the lakes and rivers in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.    East Okoboji Lake
      Yellow Bass - Good: Excellent bite continues with good numbers of fish being caught. Cast mini-jigs or hair-jigs or use small baits tipped with wigglers. Don’t overlook the evening bite from docks as these fish will move shallow at dusk. Walleye - Good: Numbers of fish are being caught with traditional baits; good numbers of yellow bass are mixed in with the catch. Northern Pike - Fair: Anglers report northern pike action on the lake.  Five Island Lake
      Channel Catfish - Good: Numbers of fish are being caught trolling. Don’t overlook public areas to fish using traditional "cat" baits which will provide excellent action.  Lake Pahoja
      Bluegill - Good: Recent surveys show good numbers of large angler size fish in the lake.  Little Sioux River (state line to Linn Grove)
      Channel Catfish - Good: Report of angles catching fish from the river.  Lost Island Lake
      Yellow Bass - Good: Reports of yellow bass being caught with black crappie and yellow perch up to 10 inches mixed in the catch. Use small lures such as a twister tail or hair jigs. Bluegill - Good: Recent surveys show numbers of fish approaching 7 inches in the lake. Black Crappie - Good: Recent surveys show numbers of angler acceptable size fish up to 10 inches in the lake.  Ocheyedan Pit #1
      Channel Catfish - Fair: Recent surveys show good numbers of 17 -23 inch channel catfish.  Silver Lake (Dickinson)
      Walleye - Good: Expect the fall walleye bite to start soon. Troll crankbaits during the day; wader fishing is your best chance to catch trophy size fish.  Spirit Lake
      Walleye - Good: The fall walleye bite has started with action improving. Yellow Perch - Good: Good numbers of angler acceptable size yellow perch continue to be caught in the outside line of the weed beds. Bonus bluegill will be mixed in the catch.  West Okoboji Lake
      Bluegill - Good: Rock piles in deeper water with stands of aquatic growth will produce good numbers of angler acceptable sized fish.  For more information throughout the week, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840. 
    • SOUTHEAST IOWA FISHING REPORTS Big Hollow Lake
      The unstable weather isn't helping the fishing or the number of anglers out on the lake.  Black Crappie - No Report: Start looking for crappies in 6 feet of water. Bluegill - No Report: Bluegills should be moving in to more shallow water soon. Start at 6 feet and work your way in from there.  Deep Lakes
      Grab a pole and go exploring at Deep Lakes; there are lots of ponds to try. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Most of the ponds have good numbers of bass in them; most are smaller, but there are some big ones. Go subtle in your choice of lures with the ultra-clear water. Bluegill - Good: Find the right pond and you can catch some nice bluegills.  Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)
      The Iowa River still has a lot of flow right now, but is currently back down in its bank with only some low area flooding; it looks to be headed back up.  Lake Belva Deer
      Water warmed up over the last days to around 78 degrees again. The cooler weather forecast should reverse that trend. Black Crappie - Fair: Last week was pretty slow;  crappie should start biting again with the water getting back to normal and cooling off. Channel Catfish - Fair: Should still be able to pick up a few catfish up by the inlet from the marsh. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Picking up a few bass in the more shallow water up along the rocks and gravel bottom areas.  Lake Darling
      The water temperature is back up to about 79 degrees. Water clarity is improving despite more heavy rains earlier this week. Fishing, while still pretty good, is a little more hit and miss due to the weather.  Bluegill - Good: Decent numbers of hand-sized bluegills are being caught in 5 or less feet of water. Water still hasn’t cleared up after last week’s heavy rains. So a little flash to any lure is a good idea. Channel Catfish - Good: Anglers continue to catch catfish. It’s a good time to fish the weirs in the in-lake silt dams as the water from the recent and forecast rains come into the lake. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass are hovering over the rock piles in about 5-8 feet of water. Spinnerbaits and spoons work best.  Lost Grove Lake
      Water temperature was 78 degrees on Wednesday; the storm may have cooled it off more since then. Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers are still catching crappies out deep, but if the nights stay fairly cool, they should start to move in to shallower water. Largemouth Bass - Good: Run your favorite crankbait on the north side of the lake, out along the mounds on the flats and in shallow.  Skunk River (Coppock to Mississippi River)
      The Skunk River is back down to about 1/2 bank full. The parking areas and lanes to them are still muddy.  For more information on the above lakes and rivers, call the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430. Central Park Lake
      The lake is close to full after the renovation project; fingerling fish have been stocked.  Coralville Reservoir
      The lake level is at 705 feet (normal pool is 683.4 feet) and slowly falling as of 9/20. All public ramps are under water and the Mehaffey ramp is closed due to construction.  Diamond Lake
      The water is muddy. Black Crappie - Fair: Try small jigs fished over deeper brush. Most fish are 8-9 inches. Channel Catfish - Good: Stink bait works best. Some limits are being reported.   Iowa Lake (Iowa County)
      Largemouth Bass – Slow. Channel Catfish – Slow. Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie - Fair: Fish in 12-15 feet of water and look for fish suspended a few feet off the bottom.  Iowa River (Coralville Lake to River Junction)
      Catfish were biting at Hills and River Junction before the flows bumped up to 10,000 CFS. Flows will continue to be this high until the Coralville Reservoir is back down to normal, which could be weeks.  Kent Park Lake
      The lake is currently drained for a lake restoration project.  Lake Macbride
      The motor restriction is off; any sized motor may be used at no-wake speed (5 mph). Black Crappie - Fair: Use jigs or minnows around brush; some fish are reported as moving shallower. Walleye - Fair: Troll crawlers or crankbaits in 7-14 feet of water. Largemouth Bass - Fair. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Try topwater baits early and late then troll during the day. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try cut bait or stink bait. Evenings are best.  Pleasant Creek Lake
      The lake is still 1.5 feet low. Use caution on the lake, as many of the new rock and wood structures are becoming submerged. There are 2 docks in at the main ramp and the fish cleaning station is open.   For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.   Lake Keomah
      Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs tipped with live bait near shore and around the fishing jetties. Black Crappie - Fair: Use a jig tipped with a minnow around deep structure. Try different depths until you find active fish. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use stink bait or chicken liver in 4-8 feet of water. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Try spinnerbaits, crankbaits or rubber worms around the fishing jetties and along the dam.  Lake Miami
      Largemouth Bass - Fair: Try topwater lures in the early mornings and evenings then switch to rubber worms or crankbaits during the hotter parts of the day. Target the cedar tree piles and the fishing jetties. Bluegill - Fair: Use a chunk of night crawler along the fishing jetties or around the cedar tree piles.  Lake Sugema
      The south boat ramp off of Highway 2 has been reopened. There is now a construction project on the north ramp. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use topwater lures in the early mornings and evenings. As the day progresses, target deeper structure using rubber worms or deep diving crankbaits. Black Crappie - Slow: Crappies are suspended. Try drifting minnows around the flooded timber at different depths to find active fish. Bluegill - Fair: Try live bait tipped on a small jig around the shorelines and fishing jetties. Keep moving until you find active fish.  Lake Wapello
      Channel Catfish - Fair: Use chicken liver or stink bait. Don’t fish too deep as the lake does stratify; target 6-8 feet of water. Largemouth Bass - Good: Use rubber worms or crawdad imitating crankbaits around deep structure. Try also topwater lures around the cedar tree piles in the morning. Bluegill - Fair: Try small jigs tipped with a chunk of night crawler around aquatic vegetation. Black Crappie - Slow: Try jigs tipped with a minnow in 6-10 feet of water.  Rathbun Reservoir
      The current lake level is 906.10 msl. Normal operating elevation is 904.0 msl. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels, so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body. Channel Catfish - Good: Use stink bait or chicken liver in coves or areas with some water running into the lake. White Crappie - Fair: Try minnows around deeper structure. Trolling small crankbaits can also catch suspended crappies. Crappies will start to move shallow as the water cools. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Fair: Troll crankbaits along rocky shorelines and around rock piles. Follow the gulls as they will be where the schools of hybrid striped bass are feeding. Try also vertically jigging spoon baits around rock piles. Walleye - Fair: Use night crawler rigs or troll crankbaits around rock piles and submerged points.  Red Haw Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Good: Cast the shorelines in the early part of the day and then fish deeper structure as the day warms up. Use rubber worms or crankbaits. Topwater lures can be productive along the lily pads. Black Crappie - Fair: Try tube jigs along the shorelines. Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs tipped with live bait around the shorelines and fishing jetties. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try night crawlers or chicken liver around the fishing jetties and the outer edge of the lily pads.  The district includes Mahaska, Lucas, Wayne, Monroe, Appanoose, Wapello, Davis and Van Buren counties. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.   MISSISSIPPI RIVER  FISHING REPORTS Mississippi River Pool 16
      Tailwater stage is 10.36 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities, but is forecast to reach 12.5 feet by the middle of next week. Flood stage is 15 feet. As of Sept. 19th, the Clark's Ferry boat ramp was still closed due to high water, but the ramp at Shady creek is open. The docks have been pulled out at the Fairport Recreational area due to high water. Fishing has been slow.  Mississippi River Pool 17
      Tailwater stage is 10.31 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is forecast to rise over the weekend. Flood stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 15 feet. River stage at Muscatine is 12.14 feet, but forecast to reach 13.2 feet by the middle of next week. Flood stage at Muscatine is 16 feet. The Kilpeck Landing is closed. Big Timber is also closed due to high water. Fishing has been slow.   Mississippi River Pool 18
      Tailwater stage is 12.57 feet at Lock and Dam 17 above New Boston and has been falling the past week, but is forecast to rise over the weekend. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 17. River level at Keithsburg is 12.52 feet and is forecast to reach 13.1 feet by the middle of next. Flood stage at Keithsburg is 14 feet. The Toolsboro access is inaccessible due to the Odessa road being flooded. Ferry Landing is closed. Fishing has been slow.   Mississippi River Pool 19
      Tailwater stage is 9.43 feet at Lock and Dam 18 and is forecast to start rising over the weekend. Flood stage is 10 feet. River level at Burlington is 14.63 feet and is forecast to start rising over the weekend. Flood stage at Burlington is 15 feet. Fishing has been slow with the high water.   River stages have been falling the past few days. With recent heavy rains, the river is forecast to start rising over the weekend. Some boat ramps are closed due to high water. Main channel water temperature is around 73 degrees. Water clarity is poor due to high water conditions. Fishing has been slow with the high water. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.
    • SOUTHWEST IOWA FISHING REPORTS Beaver Lake
      Black Crappie - Fair: Troll twister tails or tube jigs in the top 3 to 8 feet of water throughout the lake for 9.5 to 10.5 inch crappies Big Creek Lake
      Walleye - Fair: Troll shallow diving shad imitating crankbaits or spinner rigs with night crawlers with little weight to fish 3 to 10 feet deep. The northern half of the lake is best during the summer; start from the beach up to the marina boat ramp. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Good: Troll live bait rigs and shad imitating crankbaits or soft plastics mid-lake where the two upper arms of the lake meet. The hybrids are still young, so the upper end on size is around 18 inches Don Williams Lake
      Black Crappie - Good: Good numbers of crappies are being caught trolling twister tail or tube jigs in the upper half of the lake mostly from the boat ramp to 100 yards up from the beach. Many are young fish just under 8 inches, with some bigger ones mixed in.  Lake Ahquabi
      Black Crappie - Fair: Drift or troll small white, pink and chartreuse twister tails or tube jigs.  Red Rock Reservoir
      White Bass - Fair: Fishing below the dam has been the best action for a mix of white bass and hybrid striped bass. Cast white twister tails fluke or paddle tail swim baits. Black Crappie - Fair: Some anglers are catching some of Red Rocks large crappies. Fall is good time to drift or troll panfish jigs in the arms and coves off the main lake.  Rock Creek Lake
      White Crappie - Good: Drift or slowly troll jigs or minnows in the lower half of the lake in the mornings to just after noon.  For more information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, call Ben Dodd at 641-891-3795 or Andy Otting at 515-204-5885.   Cold Springs District Farm Ponds
      Water clarity should improve in ponds this week. Always get permission to fish privately-owned ponds. Bluegill - Slow: Anglers report slow fishing in ponds after heavy rains this week. Try fishing 4 feet below the surface for suspended fish. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass are very active and can be caught with a variety of lures and plugs. Fish shallow early and late and go deeper during the middle of the day. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try cut bait or commercial stink baits along weed edges and around structure. Black Crappie - Slow: Find crappies suspended and around structure.  Farm Creek Lake
      Farm Creek has a good fish population with quality sized panfish. Black Crappie - No Report: Fish the creek channel for black crappie up to 12 inches. Bluegill - No Report: Drift or slow troll along the creek channel for bluegills up to 9.5 inches. Largemouth Bass - No Report: There is a good population of 13 to 15 inch bass in the lake.  Lake Anita
      Fishing has picked up now that the weather has stabilized. Water temperature has heated back up to 80 degrees. Water clarity is good. Bluegill - Fair: Look for bluegills close to the creek channel. Slow troll small jigs tipped with crawler for bluegills up to 9.5 inches. Black Crappie - Fair: The early morning crappie bite is best. Slow troll small crank baits or small jigs tipped with power bait to catch 9 to 11 inch fish. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Throw spinners along the vegetation and plastics around deep structure during the day  Lake Manawa
      Lake Manawa is a good destination for summer catfishing. Channel Catfish - Slow: Channel catfish have slowed a bit, but anglers report catching fish around Boy Scout Island. Fish will average 2 to 5 pounds. White Crappie - No Report: There is a good population of white crappies in Manawa.  Orient Lake 
      Bluegill - No Report: Bluegills at Orient have good body condition. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are actively feeding below the rock sediment dam. Cast liver, crawlers or cut bait next to the current. Black Bullhead - Fair: Catch quality sized bullheads with night crawlers below the rock sediment structure.  Prairie Rose Lake
      Prairie Rose will offer good panfishing. The lake has quality sized bluegills and acceptable size crappies. The water clarity has improved to 2 feet this week. Bluegill - Slow: Bluegills are in a summer pattern. Look for fish around underwater reefs and drift/troll open water areas. Bluegills in Prairie Rose are 8 to 9.5 inches. Largemouth Bass - Fair: There is a large population of 12 inch bass in the lake that offers fun catch and release fishing. Black Crappie - Slow: Try vertical jigging or minnows under a slip bobber in the brush piles to catch 10 plus inch black crappies. Be prepared to lose tackle.  Viking Lake
      The pontoon area will be closed starting Sept. 28th for repairs to the seawall. Channel Catfish - Good: Cast liver in the pontoon area of the lake. Sorting is needed for larger fish. Black Crappie - Fair: Use tube jigs early in the morning and late afternoon. The fish are averaging 9 inches. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Jig plastics in deeper brush piles during the day and cast shallow structure early morning for largemouth bass of all sizes.  Water temperatures have jumped back up near 80 degrees in the S.W. district. For more information, contact the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587.   Green Valley Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Fair: Catch largemouth bass up to 20 inches with finesse plastics fished near cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill - Good: Catch bluegill up to 8.5 inches with worms fished in shallow bays and along fishing jetties. Black Crappie - Fair: Catch crappies up to 9 inches using minnows fished near cedar tree brush piles. Little River Watershed Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass of all sizes have been caught using topwater baits fished in early morning or late evening or finesse plastics fished near cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill - Fair: Catch bluegills up to 9 inches with worms fished near cedar tree brush piles. Channel Catfish - Good: Catch channel catfish up to 10 pounds with prepared baits or chicken liver fished near main lake points in the evenings. Walleye - Fair: Catch walleye up to 22 inches using minnows fished along the roadbed or main lake points. Three Mile Lake
      Bluegill - Good: Catch bluegills up to 8 inches with worms fished in shallow bays. Walleye - Fair: Catch walleyes up to 18 inches with crankbaits or minnows fished along the fish mounds or the dam.  Twelve Mile Creek Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass of all sizes have been caught with crankbaits or finesse plastics fished along cedar tree brush piles or rocky areas. Bluegill - Good: Catch bluegill up to 8.5 inches with worms fished in shallow bays. Walleye - Fair: Catch walleyes of all sizes using minnows or crankbaits fished in 10 feet of water.  Black Crappie - Good: Catch crappie up to 9 inches with minnows fished near cedar tree brush piles. Water temperature in most district lakes is in the mid to upper 70's. The district includes Page, Taylor, Adams, Union, Ringgold, Decatur, Clarke and Madison counties. For more information, please call the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.   MISSOURI RIVER FISHING REPORTS Missouri River (Sioux City to Little Sioux)
      Channel Catfish - Good: During high water levels, try below flooded wing dams and close to the bank or slower flooded areas from shore. Smaller tributaries should also be good, where channel catfish will find refuge from faster currents. Use worms, cut bait, or dip baits. Freshwater Drum - Fair: Try using live bait rigs or jigs tipped with worms along the bank and around tributary stream or rivers where they join the Missouri River. Blue Catfish - Good: Anglers report catching a few blue catfish on rod and reel and trotlines. Use live bait or fresh cut bait with live bait rigs along wing dam tips or in or close to the main channel of the Missouri River. Flathead Catfish - Good: Flathead catfish are being caught on trotlines and rod and reel using live baits (chubs, bullheads, green sunfish). Fish below wing dam tip, near rock structures, logs and along the bank with deeper water nearby.  Missouri River (Little Sioux to Council Bluffs)
      Channel Catfish - Good: During high water levels, try below flooded wing dams and close to the bank or slower flooded areas from shore. Smaller tributaries should also be good, where channel catfish will find refuge from faster currents. Use worms, cut bait, or dip baits. Freshwater Drum - Fair: Try using live bait rigs or jigs tipped with worms along the bank and around tributary stream or rivers where they join the Missouri River. Blue Catfish - Good: Anglers report catching blue catfish on rod and reel and trotlines. Use live bait or fresh cut bait along wing dam tips or in or close to the main channel of the Missouri River. Flathead Catfish - Fair: Flathead catfish are being caught on trotlines and rod and reel using live baits (chubs, bullheads, green sunfish). Fish below wing dam tip, near rock structures, logs and along the bank with deeper water nearby.  Missouri River (Council Bluffs to Missouri State Line)
      Channel Catfish - Good: During high water levels, try below flooded wing dams and close to the bank or slower flooded areas from shore. Smaller tributaries should also be good, where channel catfish will find refuge from faster currents. Use worms, cut bait, or dip baits.  Freshwater Drum - Fair: Try using live bait rigs or jigs tipped with worms along the bank and around tributary stream or rivers where they join the Missouri River. Blue Catfish - Good: Anglers are catching a few blue catfish on rod and reel and trotlines with fresh cut bait or live bait. Try by the wing dam tips, close to or in the main channel of the Missouri River for your best chance at getting bigger blue catfish. Flathead Catfish - Fair: Flathead catfish are being caught on trotlines and rod and reel using live baits (chubs, bullheads, green sunfish). Fish below wing dam tip, near rock structures, logs and along the bank with deeper water nearby.  The Missouri River at Decatur, Nebraska is at 28.26 ft. /63,600 cfs./74 degrees Fahrenheit. Missouri River water temperatures are up 3 degrees from last week and water levels are down 0.04 feet. Water levels continue to be up due to recent rains in the Missouri River watershed and release of water from reservoirs. Anglers and boaters are advised to use caution going on the Missouri River. Fishing has been good to fair. 
    • NORTHWEST Black Hawk Lake
      Water temperatures are in the low 70's. Water levels are 6 inches over the crest of the spillway. Bluegill - Fair: Use a small jig with a small piece of crawler fished under a bobber in 3-6 feet of water in Town Bay from the stone piers along Ice House Point and near the inlet bridge. Walleye - Slow: Try crawler rigs or crankbaits around Ice House Point, the dredge cut near Denison Beach, and around the rock piles near Gunshot Hill, Cottonwood Point and the East Basin. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Catch largemouth all over the lake using traditional bass lures. There is a 15 inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass in Black Hawk Lake.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Use stink bait, cut bait, or crawler fished on the bottom along Ice House Point and in Town Bay, and along shore near the outlet. Yellow Perch - Fair: Use crawlers fished 3-4 feet below a bobber on the lake side of the inlet bridge and from the stone piers in Town Bay. Brushy Creek Lake
      There is a 15 inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass in Brushy Creek Lake, and a 40 inch minimum length limit for musky. Walleye - Fair: Drift or troll slowly crawler rigs, minnows or leaches in 15-20 feet of water. Yellow Perch - Fair: Find perch along the vegetation and deeper structure. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Catch bass along weed lines near shore just about anywhere with traditional bass lures. There is a 15 inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass in Brushy Creek Lake. Bluegill - Fair: Try tube jigs tipped with crawlers in 10-15 feet of water.  North Twin Lake
      Water temperatures are in the low 70's. Water clarity is around 1.5 feet. White Crappie - Slow: No Report - A recent survey showed most crappie are 6-10 inches with a few up to 14 inches. Walleye - Slow: Walleye up to 27 inches have been seen in recent netting surveys.  Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
      Storm Lake has a daily limit of 3 walleye and all 17- to 22-inch walleye must be released; no more than one walleye longer than 22 inches may be taken per day. Walleye - Fair: Use crawler rigs and troll crankbaits along the edges of the dredge cuts around the lake in 6-10 feet of water. White Bass - Fair: Troll crankbaits or fish crawlers along the dredge cuts.  Water temperatures in Black Hawk District lakes are in the low 70's. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.   Beeds Lake
      The park road will be closed Sept. 19th - 21st due to road construction; there will be no access to the boat ramp. Black Crappie - Fair: Drift fish or troll with a tube jig or small minnow. Yellow Bass - Fair: Drift fish or troll with a small jig. Shore anglers should fish a small piece of crawler or cut bait off the bottom.  Clear Lake
      Surface water temperature is 70 degrees. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use crawlers or cut bait in the areas where water is entering the lake. Black Crappie - Fair: Drift a jig and minnow over deeper submerged vegetation. Yellow Bass - Fair: Drift or troll a small jig tipped with cut bait or a minnow over the reefs until you find fish.  Muskellunge - Fair: Fish the edge of the vegetation and near docks.  Crystal Lake
      Black Crappie - Fair: Drift or troll small tube jigs or a minnow in the dredge cut or on the edge of vegetation. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use crankbaits.  Lake Smith
      Black Crappie - Fair: Drift or troll a small jig or minnow in deeper near the outlet.  For information on the lakes and rivers in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.    East Okoboji Lake
      Yellow Bass - Good: Excellent bite continues with good numbers of fish being caught. Cast mini-jigs or hair-jigs or use small baits tipped with wigglers. Don’t overlook the evening bite from docks as these fish will move shallow at dusk. Walleye - Good: Numbers of fish are being caught with traditional baits; good numbers of yellow bass are mixed in with the catch. Northern Pike - Fair: Anglers report northern pike action on the lake.  Five Island Lake
      Channel Catfish - Good: Numbers of fish are being caught trolling. Don’t overlook public areas to fish using traditional "cat" baits which will provide excellent action.  Lake Pahoja
      Bluegill - Good: Recent surveys show good numbers of large angler size fish in the lake.  Little Sioux River (state line to Linn Grove)
      Channel Catfish - Good: Report of angles catching fish from the river.  Lost Island Lake
      Yellow Bass - Good: Reports of yellow bass being caught with black crappie and yellow perch up to 10 inches mixed in the catch. Use small lures such as a twister tail or hair jigs. Bluegill - Good: Recent surveys show numbers of fish approaching 7 inches in the lake. Black Crappie - Good: Recent surveys show numbers of angler acceptable size fish up to 10 inches in the lake.  Ocheyedan Pit #1
      Channel Catfish - Fair: Recent surveys show good numbers of 17 -23 inch channel catfish.  Silver Lake (Dickinson)
      Walleye - Good: Expect the fall walleye bite to start soon. Troll crankbaits during the day; wader fishing is your best chance to catch trophy size fish.  Spirit Lake
      Walleye - Good: The fall walleye bite has started with action improving. Yellow Perch - Good: Good numbers of angler acceptable size yellow perch continue to be caught in the outside line of the weed beds. Bonus bluegill will be mixed in the catch.  West Okoboji Lake
      Bluegill - Good: Rock piles in deeper water with stands of aquatic growth will produce good numbers of angler acceptable sized fish.  For more information throughout the week, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.    NORTHEAST Cedar River (above Nashua)
      The river is rising and extremely muddy. Boating is not recommended. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for current water level information. Walleye -Slow. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use chicken liver, stink bait or dead chubs. Catfish will be in a slow pocket or area out of the current.  Decorah District Streams
      Small game hunting seasons are open in Iowa. Many trout streams flow through areas with hunting. Wear bright colors. Due to recent rain, streams will be stocked depending on stream conditions the day of stocking. Listen to the trout stocking hotline (563-927-5736) for daily information. Brook Trout - Fair: A variety of aquatic and terrestrial insects, like ants and beetles, are more numerous. Try small spinnerbaits and jigs tipped with twister tails. Brown Trout - Good: Hendrickson caddis and cranefly hatches are occurring. Crickets are common along streams now. Use hendrickson gnat or beadhead nymph patterns. Pale yellow, black, brown, and grey colors work best. Rainbow Trout - Fair: Try a piece of worm or small cheese chunk on a hook under a bobber in the deeper holes or floated past an undercut bank. A variety of small spinnerbaits work well. French Creek
      The bridge on Mays Prairie Road (CR X6A) is being replaced. Work is scheduled through mid-November. Access the parking lot from the south. Brown Trout - Good: The best time to fish French Creek is after rain events so fish will be less spooky. This stream rarely turns off color.  Lake Hendricks
      Water temperatures are in the upper 60's. Clarity remains poor. Black Crappie - Slow: Drift a minnow in deeper water. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Try near submersed rocky habitat or depth contours in the early morning.  Channel Catfish - Good: Use a large night crawler fished off the bottom near woody structure. Bluegill - Slow: Activity should pick up with cooler temperatures. Try a small jig tipped with small piece of worm off rocky shoreline or near submersed logs.  Lake Meyer
      Lake clarity is about 5 feet, but will likely be much less after this current rainy period. Water temperatures are in the upper 60's. Few people have been out fishing. Bluegill - Fair: Use a hook tipped with a small piece of worm or cricket under a bobber in deeper water. Channel Catfish - Good: Try stink bait or cut baits fished just off the bottom in the evening. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use topwater baits along weed edges on overcast days and late evenings. Black Crappie - Fair: Use a jig and minnow near submersed structure.  Osborne Pond
      Osborne Pond is currently being renovated. The dam was breached in July and a water retention basin installed. Material will be removed over the winter and new habitat installed in the spring. After repairs to the dam are made, it will be allowed to fill. The pond will then be restocked with bluegill, channel catfish, and largemouth bass.  Turkey River (above Clermont)
      The Turkey River is rising again and muddy. Flows remain high. Boating is not recommended.  Visit the USGS Current Condition website for more information. Boat docks at Vernon Springs are out for the season. Smallmouth Bass - Slow: Try spinner and crankbaits. Walleye - Fair: Use minnows or lures imitating minnows in deep water drop offs. Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
      Water levels are rising with poor water clarity. Visit the USGS Current Water Data website for more information. Boating is not recommended. The dock is out at Lime Springs for the season. Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
      The Upper Iowa is rising and clarity is poor. Paddling activities are not recommended. Visit the USGS Current Conditions website for more information.  Volga Lake
      Bluegill - Slow: Find gills along rocky shoreline or suspended deeper. Use a small jig tipped with a small piece of worm. Black Crappie - Slow: Slowly retrieve a lure over structure in deeper water. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use topwater lures over structure or run a jig tipped with a twister tail along a rocky shoreline. Channel Catfish - Good: Use stink bait worms or cut baits fished off the bottom in the evening near woody structure.  Recent rainfall events have turned a majority of area rivers and streams off color and running high. Temperatures are cooling greatly for the weekend. Trout streams are off color and high. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.   Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
      Casey Lake is in good condition with clear water. Bluegill – Good: Try fishing various depths with a piece of crawler under a bobber near the edge of weeds or structure. Largemouth Bass - Good: Use topwater and plastic artificial baits. Black Crappie - Good: Try small pink and white tube jigs or a crappie minnow fished under a slip bobber by the jetties and dam areas in about 4 feet of water.  The recent wet weather may provide a great opportunity to gather up bow hunting gear for the upcoming weekend! Heavy rains and flooding is occurring on all cold and warm water streams and rivers.Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.   MISSISSIPPI RIVER Mississippi River Pool 9
      River level is 8.6 feet at Lansing and is expected to stay stable. Water temperature is near 73 degrees. The Lansing Village Creek ramp is closed through October.  For more updates, call the Guttenberg Fisheries Management office at 563-252-1156. Walleye - Good: Fishing wing dam areas will get easier with a drop in river levels. Use crankbaits or 3-way rigs tipped with crawlers in 8-12 feet of water. Yellow Perch - Excellent: Perch bite has picked up. Many 13 inch fish are being caught with live minnow floated under a bobber. Northern Pike - Good: This time of year pike are attracted to cooler water coming in from springs and tributaries. Cast spoons along the edge of weed beds. Channel Catfish - Good: Try cut bait or stink bait in the main and side channel borders. Largemouth Bass - Good: Look for largemouth in the slack water areas off the main channel or running sloughs. Smallmouth Bass - Excellent: Smallmouth activity has picked up. Cast inline spinners or crankbaits along rock or tree habitat in faster current.  White Bass - Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in main channel current for big white bass. Bluegill - Excellent: Find bluegills in clearer water with slow current in backwater areas away from main channel and sloughs.  Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Freshwater drum are actively biting in areas of current. Drop a heavily weighted worm rig into the current for some big fish action. Black Crappie - Fair: Expect the crappie bite to pick up this fall after the water clarity improves. Try tube jigs or minnow under a bobber in submersed trees in the backwater sloughs.  Mississippi River Pool 10
      River level is 16.4 feet at Lynxville and will stabilize near 15.5 feet next week. Water temperature is 74 degrees at the Lock and Dam 9. Walleye- Good: Fishing wing dam areas will get easier with a drop in river levels. Use crankbaits or 3-way rigs tipped with crawlers in 8-12 feet of water. Yellow Perch - Excellent: Perch bite has picked up. Many 13 inch fish are being caught with live minnow floated under a bobber.  Northern Pike -Good: This time of year pike are attracted to cooler water coming in from springs and tributaries. Cast spoons along the edge of weed beds. Channel Catfish - Good: Try cut bait or stink bait in the main and side channel borders. Bluegill - Excellent: Find bluegills in clearer water with slow current in backwater areas away from main channel and sloughs. Largemouth Bass - Good: Look for largemouth in the slack water areas off the main channel or running sloughs.  Smallmouth Bass - Excellent: Smallmouth activity has picked up. Cast inline spinners or crankbaits along rock or tree habitat in faster current.  White Bass - Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in the main channel current for big white bass. Bluegill - Fair: Find bluegills in clearer water with slow current in backwater areas away from main channel and sloughs.  Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Freshwater drum are actively biting in areas of current. Drop a heavily weighted worm rig into the current for some big fish action. Black Crappie - Fair: Expect the crappie bite to pick up this fall after the water clarity improves. Try tube jigs or minnow under a bobber in submersed trees in the backwater sloughs. Mississippi River Pool 11
      River level at Guttenberg has dropped several feet to 8.9 feet and is expected to reach 7.5 feet by next week. Water temperature is 68 degrees at Lock and Dam 10. Walleye - Good: Fishing wing dam areas will get easier with a drop in river levels. Use crankbaits or 3-way rigs tipped with crawlers in 8-12 feet of water. Yellow Perch - Excellent: The perch bite has picked up. Many 13 inch fish are being caught with a live minnow floated under a bobber.  Northern Pike - Good: This time of year, pike are attracted to cooler water coming in from springs and tributaries. Cast spoons along the edge of weed beds.
      Channel Catfish - Good: Try cut bait or stink bait in the main and side channel borders. Largemouth Bass - Good: Look for largemouth in the slack water areas off the main channel or running sloughs. Smallmouth Bass - Excellent: Smallmouth activity has picked up. Cast inline spinners or crankbaits along rock or tree habitat in faster current.  White Bass - Fair: Cast flashy spinners or crankbaits along the rocks in main channel current for big white bass. Bluegill - Excellent: Find bluegills in clearer water with slow current in backwater areas away from main channel and sloughs. Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Freshwater drum are actively biting in areas of current. Drop a heavily weighted worm rig into the current for some big fish action. Black Crappie - Fair: Expect the crappie bite to pick up this fall after the water clarity improves. Try tube jigs or minnow under a bobber in submersed trees in the backwater sloughs.  Upper Mississippi River level is falling back into normal fall range. Look for fish to be more active as they start fall feeding activity. Water temperatures are near 70 degrees.   Mississippi River Pool 12
      Water levels will fluctuate this week, starting at 8.2 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and at 10.7 feet at the RR bridge. Water clarity is fair. The water temperature is around 72 degrees. Channel Catfish - Good:Try stink bait or worms near shore. Channel cats feed heavily near shore during flooded conditions. Freshwater Drum - Good: Most anglers use a simple egg sinker and worm rig. Drum will be hanging out relatively near shore in moderate current areas. Bluegill - Good: Try finding clear water in the upper reaches of backwater areas; use worms and bobber. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Fish the upper ends of backwater areas in cleaner water. Black Crappie - Fair: Use small minnows in the clear upper reaches of backwater areas.  Mississippi River Pool 13
      Water level will fluctuate this week, starting out at 9.2 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam. Water clarity is fair. Avoid large tributary streams as they are muddy. The water temperature is around 73 degrees. The north ramp at Sabula is not in use this year due to bridge construction. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try stink bait or worms near shore. Move often if you are not finding catfish. Freshwater Drum - Good: The drum bite is on. Fish worms with an egg sinker in moderate current areas. Fish near the shorelines if possible. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try frog imitation lures and spinner baits in the upper ends of backwater areas and deep in the vegetated areas. Bluegill - Good: Find the clear water in the upper reaches of large backwater complexes; use a simple bobber and worm. Black Crappie - Fair: Use a small minnow and bobber in the upper reaches of backwaters in clear water.  Mississippi River Pool 14
      Water levels are predicted to fluctuate this week, starting at around 9 feet at Fulton Lock and Dam, 12 feet at Camanche and 6.7 feet at the LeClaire. Water clarity is fair. The water temperature is around 73 degrees. Channel Catfish - Good: Try stink bait or worms near shore or along brush piles. Channel cats feed heavily in flooded waters. Freshwater Drum - Good: Use a simple egg sinker/worm rig in moderate current areas. Walleye - Slow: A few walleye were caught off the bank with jigs and minnows. Bluegill - Good: Use a bobber and worm in the upper reaches of Rock Creek or Cattail Slough.  Mississippi River Pool 15
      Water levels are near 10.2 feet at Rock Island and will rise to 12.3 feet. This level will again approach "action" flood stage, so some boat ramps will be flooded. Water clarity is poor. The water temperature is around 74 degrees. Channel Catfish - No Report: Try stink bait or worms near shore. Fish near shore in flooded waters. Freshwater Drum - No Report: Use an egg sinker and worm rigs fished near shore in moderate current areas.  The water levels will fluctuate this week. Most ramps are usable again, but some will have water on them. If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.    Mississippi River Pool 16
      Tailwater stage is 10.36 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities, but is forecast to reach 12.5 feet by the middle of next week. Flood stage is 15 feet. As of Sept. 19th, the Clark's Ferry boat ramp was still closed due to high water, but the ramp at Shady creek is open. The docks have been pulled out at the Fairport Recreational area due to high water. Fishing has been slow.  Mississippi River Pool 17
      Tailwater stage is 10.31 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is forecast to rise over the weekend. Flood stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 15 feet. River stage at Muscatine is 12.14 feet, but forecast to reach 13.2 feet by the middle of next week. Flood stage at Muscatine is 16 feet. The Kilpeck Landing is closed. Big Timber is also closed due to high water. Fishing has been slow.   Mississippi River Pool 18
      Tailwater stage is 12.57 feet at Lock and Dam 17 above New Boston and has been falling the past week, but is forecast to rise over the weekend. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 17. River level at Keithsburg is 12.52 feet and is forecast to reach 13.1 feet by the middle of next. Flood stage at Keithsburg is 14 feet. The Toolsboro access is inaccessible due to the Odessa road being flooded. Ferry Landing is closed. Fishing has been slow.   Mississippi River Pool 19
      Tailwater stage is 9.43 feet at Lock and Dam 18 and is forecast to start rising over the weekend. Flood stage is 10 feet. River level at Burlington is 14.63 feet and is forecast to start rising over the weekend. Flood stage at Burlington is 15 feet. Fishing has been slow with the high water.   River stages have been falling the past few days. With recent heavy rains, the river is forecast to start rising over the weekend. Some boat ramps are closed due to high water. Main channel water temperature is around 73 degrees. Water clarity is poor due to high water conditions. Fishing has been slow with the high water. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062. SOUTHEAST Big Hollow Lake
      The unstable weather isn't helping the fishing or the number of anglers out on the lake.  Black Crappie - No Report: Start looking for crappies in 6 feet of water. Bluegill - No Report: Bluegills should be moving in to more shallow water soon. Start at 6 feet and work your way in from there.  Deep Lakes
      Grab a pole and go exploring at Deep Lakes; there are lots of ponds to try. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Most of the ponds have good numbers of bass in them; most are smaller, but there are some big ones. Go subtle in your choice of lures with the ultra-clear water. Bluegill - Good: Find the right pond and you can catch some nice bluegills.  Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)
      The Iowa River still has a lot of flow right now, but is currently back down in its bank with only some low area flooding; it looks to be headed back up.  Lake Belva Deer
      Water warmed up over the last days to around 78 degrees again. The cooler weather forecast should reverse that trend. Black Crappie - Fair: Last week was pretty slow;  crappie should start biting again with the water getting back to normal and cooling off. Channel Catfish - Fair: Should still be able to pick up a few catfish up by the inlet from the marsh. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Picking up a few bass in the more shallow water up along the rocks and gravel bottom areas.  Lake Darling
      The water temperature is back up to about 79 degrees. Water clarity is improving despite more heavy rains earlier this week. Fishing, while still pretty good, is a little more hit and miss due to the weather.  Bluegill - Good: Decent numbers of hand-sized bluegills are being caught in 5 or less feet of water. Water still hasn’t cleared up after last week’s heavy rains. So a little flash to any lure is a good idea. Channel Catfish - Good: Anglers continue to catch catfish. It’s a good time to fish the weirs in the in-lake silt dams as the water from the recent and forecast rains come into the lake. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass are hovering over the rock piles in about 5-8 feet of water. Spinnerbaits and spoons work best.  Lost Grove Lake
      Water temperature was 78 degrees on Wednesday; the storm may have cooled it off more since then. Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers are still catching crappies out deep, but if the nights stay fairly cool, they should start to move in to shallower water. Largemouth Bass - Good: Run your favorite crankbait on the north side of the lake, out along the mounds on the flats and in shallow.  Skunk River (Coppock to Mississippi River)
      The Skunk River is back down to about 1/2 bank full. The parking areas and lanes to them are still muddy.  For more information on the above lakes and rivers, call the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430. Central Park Lake
      The lake is close to full after the renovation project; fingerling fish have been stocked.  Coralville Reservoir
      The lake level is at 705 feet (normal pool is 683.4 feet) and slowly falling as of 9/20. All public ramps are under water and the Mehaffey ramp is closed due to construction.  Diamond Lake
      The water is muddy. Black Crappie - Fair: Try small jigs fished over deeper brush. Most fish are 8-9 inches. Channel Catfish - Good: Stink bait works best. Some limits are being reported.   Iowa Lake (Iowa County)
      Largemouth Bass – Slow. Channel Catfish – Slow. Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie - Fair: Fish in 12-15 feet of water and look for fish suspended a few feet off the bottom.  Iowa River (Coralville Lake to River Junction)
      Catfish were biting at Hills and River Junction before the flows bumped up to 10,000 CFS. Flows will continue to be this high until the Coralville Reservoir is back down to normal, which could be weeks.  Kent Park Lake
      The lake is currently drained for a lake restoration project.  Lake Macbride
      The motor restriction is off; any sized motor may be used at no-wake speed (5 mph). Black Crappie - Fair: Use jigs or minnows around brush; some fish are reported as moving shallower. Walleye - Fair: Troll crawlers or crankbaits in 7-14 feet of water. Largemouth Bass - Fair. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) – Fair: Try topwater baits early and late then troll during the day. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try cut bait or stink bait. Evenings are best.  Pleasant Creek Lake
      The lake is still 1.5 feet low. Use caution on the lake, as many of the new rock and wood structures are becoming submerged. There are 2 docks in at the main ramp and the fish cleaning station is open.   For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.   Lake Keomah
      Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs tipped with live bait near shore and around the fishing jetties. Black Crappie - Fair: Use a jig tipped with a minnow around deep structure. Try different depths until you find active fish. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use stink bait or chicken liver in 4-8 feet of water. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Try spinnerbaits, crankbaits or rubber worms around the fishing jetties and along the dam.  Lake Miami
      Largemouth Bass - Fair: Try topwater lures in the early mornings and evenings then switch to rubber worms or crankbaits during the hotter parts of the day. Target the cedar tree piles and the fishing jetties. Bluegill - Fair: Use a chunk of night crawler along the fishing jetties or around the cedar tree piles.  Lake Sugema
      The south boat ramp off of Highway 2 has been reopened. There is now a construction project on the north ramp. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use topwater lures in the early mornings and evenings. As the day progresses, target deeper structure using rubber worms or deep diving crankbaits. Black Crappie - Slow: Crappies are suspended. Try drifting minnows around the flooded timber at different depths to find active fish. Bluegill - Fair: Try live bait tipped on a small jig around the shorelines and fishing jetties. Keep moving until you find active fish.  Lake Wapello
      Channel Catfish - Fair: Use chicken liver or stink bait. Don’t fish too deep as the lake does stratify; target 6-8 feet of water. Largemouth Bass - Good: Use rubber worms or crawdad imitating crankbaits around deep structure. Try also topwater lures around the cedar tree piles in the morning. Bluegill - Fair: Try small jigs tipped with a chunk of night crawler around aquatic vegetation. Black Crappie - Slow: Try jigs tipped with a minnow in 6-10 feet of water.  Rathbun Reservoir
      The current lake level is 906.10 msl. Normal operating elevation is 904.0 msl. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels, so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body. Channel Catfish - Good: Use stink bait or chicken liver in coves or areas with some water running into the lake. White Crappie - Fair: Try minnows around deeper structure. Trolling small crankbaits can also catch suspended crappies. Crappies will start to move shallow as the water cools. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Fair: Troll crankbaits along rocky shorelines and around rock piles. Follow the gulls as they will be where the schools of hybrid striped bass are feeding. Try also vertically jigging spoon baits around rock piles. Walleye - Fair: Use night crawler rigs or troll crankbaits around rock piles and submerged points.  Red Haw Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Good: Cast the shorelines in the early part of the day and then fish deeper structure as the day warms up. Use rubber worms or crankbaits. Topwater lures can be productive along the lily pads. Black Crappie - Fair: Try tube jigs along the shorelines. Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs tipped with live bait around the shorelines and fishing jetties. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try night crawlers or chicken liver around the fishing jetties and the outer edge of the lily pads.  The district includes Mahaska, Lucas, Wayne, Monroe, Appanoose, Wapello, Davis and Van Buren counties. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.   SOUTHWEST Beaver Lake
      Black Crappie - Fair: Troll twister tails or tube jigs in the top 3 to 8 feet of water throughout the lake for 9.5 to 10.5 inch crappies Big Creek Lake
      Walleye - Fair: Troll shallow diving shad imitating crankbaits or spinner rigs with night crawlers with little weight to fish 3 to 10 feet deep. The northern half of the lake is best during the summer; start from the beach up to the marina boat ramp. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Good: Troll live bait rigs and shad imitating crankbaits or soft plastics mid-lake where the two upper arms of the lake meet. The hybrids are still young, so the upper end on size is around 18 inches Don Williams Lake
      Black Crappie - Good: Good numbers of crappies are being caught trolling twister tail or tube jigs in the upper half of the lake mostly from the boat ramp to 100 yards up from the beach. Many are young fish just under 8 inches, with some bigger ones mixed in.  Lake Ahquabi
      Black Crappie - Fair: Drift or troll small white, pink and chartreuse twister tails or tube jigs.  Red Rock Reservoir
      White Bass - Fair: Fishing below the dam has been the best action for a mix of white bass and hybrid striped bass. Cast white twister tails fluke or paddle tail swim baits. Black Crappie - Fair: Some anglers are catching some of Red Rocks large crappies. Fall is good time to drift or troll panfish jigs in the arms and coves off the main lake.  Rock Creek Lake
      White Crappie - Good: Drift or slowly troll jigs or minnows in the lower half of the lake in the mornings to just after noon.  For more information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, call Ben Dodd at 641-891-3795 or Andy Otting at 515-204-5885.   Cold Springs District Farm Ponds
      Water clarity should improve in ponds this week. Always get permission to fish privately-owned ponds. Bluegill - Slow: Anglers report slow fishing in ponds after heavy rains this week. Try fishing 4 feet below the surface for suspended fish. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass are very active and can be caught with a variety of lures and plugs. Fish shallow early and late and go deeper during the middle of the day. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try cut bait or commercial stink baits along weed edges and around structure. Black Crappie - Slow: Find crappies suspended and around structure.  Farm Creek Lake
      Farm Creek has a good fish population with quality sized panfish. Black Crappie - No Report: Fish the creek channel for black crappie up to 12 inches. Bluegill - No Report: Drift or slow troll along the creek channel for bluegills up to 9.5 inches. Largemouth Bass - No Report: There is a good population of 13 to 15 inch bass in the lake.  Lake Anita
      Fishing has picked up now that the weather has stabilized. Water temperature has heated back up to 80 degrees. Water clarity is good. Bluegill - Fair: Look for bluegills close to the creek channel. Slow troll small jigs tipped with crawler for bluegills up to 9.5 inches. Black Crappie - Fair: The early morning crappie bite is best. Slow troll small crank baits or small jigs tipped with power bait to catch 9 to 11 inch fish. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Throw spinners along the vegetation and plastics around deep structure during the day  Lake Manawa
      Lake Manawa is a good destination for summer catfishing. Channel Catfish - Slow: Channel catfish have slowed a bit, but anglers report catching fish around Boy Scout Island. Fish will average 2 to 5 pounds. White Crappie - No Report: There is a good population of white crappies in Manawa.  Orient Lake 
      Bluegill - No Report: Bluegills at Orient have good body condition. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are actively feeding below the rock sediment dam. Cast liver, crawlers or cut bait next to the current. Black Bullhead - Fair: Catch quality sized bullheads with night crawlers below the rock sediment structure.  Prairie Rose Lake
      Prairie Rose will offer good panfishing. The lake has quality sized bluegills and acceptable size crappies. The water clarity has improved to 2 feet this week. Bluegill - Slow: Bluegills are in a summer pattern. Look for fish around underwater reefs and drift/troll open water areas. Bluegills in Prairie Rose are 8 to 9.5 inches. Largemouth Bass - Fair: There is a large population of 12 inch bass in the lake that offers fun catch and release fishing. Black Crappie - Slow: Try vertical jigging or minnows under a slip bobber in the brush piles to catch 10 plus inch black crappies. Be prepared to lose tackle.  Viking Lake
      The pontoon area will be closed starting Sept. 28th for repairs to the seawall. Channel Catfish - Good: Cast liver in the pontoon area of the lake. Sorting is needed for larger fish. Black Crappie - Fair: Use tube jigs early in the morning and late afternoon. The fish are averaging 9 inches. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Jig plastics in deeper brush piles during the day and cast shallow structure early morning for largemouth bass of all sizes.  Water temperatures have jumped back up near 80 degrees in the S.W. district. For more information, contact the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587.   Green Valley Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Fair: Catch largemouth bass up to 20 inches with finesse plastics fished near cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill - Good: Catch bluegill up to 8.5 inches with worms fished in shallow bays and along fishing jetties. Black Crappie - Fair: Catch crappies up to 9 inches using minnows fished near cedar tree brush piles. Little River Watershed Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass of all sizes have been caught using topwater baits fished in early morning or late evening or finesse plastics fished near cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill - Fair: Catch bluegills up to 9 inches with worms fished near cedar tree brush piles. Channel Catfish - Good: Catch channel catfish up to 10 pounds with prepared baits or chicken liver fished near main lake points in the evenings. Walleye - Fair: Catch walleye up to 22 inches using minnows fished along the roadbed or main lake points. Three Mile Lake
      Bluegill - Good: Catch bluegills up to 8 inches with worms fished in shallow bays. Walleye - Fair: Catch walleyes up to 18 inches with crankbaits or minnows fished along the fish mounds or the dam.  Twelve Mile Creek Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass of all sizes have been caught with crankbaits or finesse plastics fished along cedar tree brush piles or rocky areas. Bluegill - Good: Catch bluegill up to 8.5 inches with worms fished in shallow bays. Walleye - Fair: Catch walleyes of all sizes using minnows or crankbaits fished in 10 feet of water.  Black Crappie - Good: Catch crappie up to 9 inches with minnows fished near cedar tree brush piles. Water temperature in most district lakes is in the mid to upper 70's. The district includes Page, Taylor, Adams, Union, Ringgold, Decatur, Clarke and Madison counties. For more information, please call the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.   MISSOURI RIVER Missouri River (Sioux City to Little Sioux)
      Channel Catfish - Good: During high water levels, try below flooded wing dams and close to the bank or slower flooded areas from shore. Smaller tributaries should also be good, where channel catfish will find refuge from faster currents. Use worms, cut bait, or dip baits. Freshwater Drum - Fair: Try using live bait rigs or jigs tipped with worms along the bank and around tributary stream or rivers where they join the Missouri River. Blue Catfish - Good: Anglers report catching a few blue catfish on rod and reel and trotlines. Use live bait or fresh cut bait with live bait rigs along wing dam tips or in or close to the main channel of the Missouri River. Flathead Catfish - Good: Flathead catfish are being caught on trotlines and rod and reel using live baits (chubs, bullheads, green sunfish). Fish below wing dam tip, near rock structures, logs and along the bank with deeper water nearby.  Missouri River (Little Sioux to Council Bluffs)
      Channel Catfish - Good: During high water levels, try below flooded wing dams and close to the bank or slower flooded areas from shore. Smaller tributaries should also be good, where channel catfish will find refuge from faster currents. Use worms, cut bait, or dip baits. Freshwater Drum - Fair: Try using live bait rigs or jigs tipped with worms along the bank and around tributary stream or rivers where they join the Missouri River. Blue Catfish - Good: Anglers report catching blue catfish on rod and reel and trotlines. Use live bait or fresh cut bait along wing dam tips or in or close to the main channel of the Missouri River. Flathead Catfish - Fair: Flathead catfish are being caught on trotlines and rod and reel using live baits (chubs, bullheads, green sunfish). Fish below wing dam tip, near rock structures, logs and along the bank with deeper water nearby.  Missouri River (Council Bluffs to Missouri State Line)
      Channel Catfish - Good: During high water levels, try below flooded wing dams and close to the bank or slower flooded areas from shore. Smaller tributaries should also be good, where channel catfish will find refuge from faster currents. Use worms, cut bait, or dip baits.  Freshwater Drum - Fair: Try using live bait rigs or jigs tipped with worms along the bank and around tributary stream or rivers where they join the Missouri River. Blue Catfish - Good: Anglers are catching a few blue catfish on rod and reel and trotlines with fresh cut bait or live bait. Try by the wing dam tips, close to or in the main channel of the Missouri River for your best chance at getting bigger blue catfish. Flathead Catfish - Fair: Flathead catfish are being caught on trotlines and rod and reel using live baits (chubs, bullheads, green sunfish). Fish below wing dam tip, near rock structures, logs and along the bank with deeper water nearby.  The Missouri River at Decatur, Nebraska is at 28.26 ft. /63,600 cfs./74 degrees Fahrenheit. Missouri River water temperatures are up 3 degrees from last week and water levels are down 0.04 feet. Water levels continue to be up due to recent rains in the Missouri River watershed and release of water from reservoirs. Anglers and boaters are advised to use caution going on the Missouri River. Fishing has been good to fair. 
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