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Rick

Iowa Fishing Reports

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NORTHWEST

Black Hawk Lake
Water temperatures are in the mid-60's. Water level is about 12 inches over the crest of the spillway. Anglers are picking up fish in between rain events. Bluegill - Fair: Use crawlers fished under a bobber. Most action has been in Town Bay off the stone piers, the floating dock, and the fish house. Walleye - Fair: Use a slip bobber with a minnow or leech on a lead head jig along the Ice House Point shore, the east end near the outlet rock piles off Cottonwood Point and the east basin north shore and around the marina. Anglers have also had luck casting black and white twisters. Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers are picking up crappie from shore and the fish house in Town Bay using live minnows fished under a bobber. Target areas with wood or rock cover along shore. Muskellunge – Fair. 

Black Hawk Pits
Black Crappie - Fair: Use a live minnow under a bobber near wood and rock cover along shore. Bluegill – Fair.

Brushy Creek Lake
Black Crappie - Fair: Try a live minnow under a bobber along shore near wood and rock cover. Bluegill - Fair: Use crawlers and small minnows fished under a bobber in 5-10 feet of water near shore and submerged structure. Yellow Perch – Fair.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Black Crappie - Fair: Try a live minnow under a bobber in areas around docks and along shallow rocky shores.  Anglers have picked up crappie in the marina and near the inlet. White Bass - Good: Use leeches, crawlers and twisters. Walleye - Fair: Try leeches and minnows fished under a slip bobber or cast twisters or crankbaits near shore and in the dredge cuts. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try cut bait, stink bait, minnows or leeches fished near the bottom.

Water temperatures are in the mid-60's. Water levels on most lakes and rivers are above average. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.

Clear Lake
The water temperature is in the low 60's. Walleye - Fair: Anglers are having success slip bobber fishing the rock reefs with jigs and a minnow or leech. With the clear water, the best bite is early morning and evening. Black Crappie - Fair: Fish the edge of the rushes with a small minnow. Yellow Bass - Slow: Use small jigs in 2 to 3 feet of water on warmer days. Best bite is at first light. Channel Catfish - Good: Fish the windswept shore and areas where water is coming into the lake with cut bait fished on the bottom.

Crystal Lake
Black Crappie - Good: Use minnows fished on the edge of the vegetation. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try spinnerbaits fished on the edge of the vegetation. Walleye - Fair: Use minnows and leeches fishes near the dredge cut. Bluegill - Good: Try a small piece of crawler fished in 2 to 3 feet of water. 

Lake Smith
Anglers are catching bass on a variety of baits. Largemouth Bass – Good.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass are biting on a variety of baits. Bluegill - Good: Use a small piece of crawler fished under a bobber in 2 to 3 feet of water.

For information on the lakes and rivers in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517. 

Center Lake
Black Crappie - Good: Fish shoreline habitat as the fish are shallow. Cast a mini jig or use a minnow under a bobber.

East Okoboji Lake
Walleye - Good: Anglers report angler acceptable size fish are being caught after dark trolling crankbaits. Bluegill - Good: Fish have moved shallow; fish deeper wooden docks for the best action.

Lost Island Lake
Walleye - Fair: Report of 14 – 18 inch fish being caught. Expect the action to improve as the water temperature warms. Black Crappie - Fair: Report of black crappie and bluegill being caught in shallow water.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Walleye - Good: Wader fishing is at its prime after dark with the clear water. Fish slow with a jig and minnow or twister tails on light jig heads. Yellow Perch - Slow: Recent surveys show good numbers of fish approaching 11 inches.

Silver Lake (Palo Alto)
Black Bullhead - Good: Good bite with jumbo size fish reported being caught.

Spirit Lake
Walleye - Good: Report of walleye fishing improving with fish caught throughout the day. Use leeches and slip bobbers in shallow, emerging weed beds. Black Crappie - Fish Trickles Slough or emerging reed beds for crappie and bluegill. Black Bullhead - Good: Action is picking up at the north grade using the traditional worm fished on the bottom.

Trumbull Lake
Yellow Perch - Fair: Report of some fish being caught.

West Okoboji Lake
Bluegill - Fair: Some bluegill and crappie action has been reported. Expect the action to improve as water temperatures warm.

For more information throughout the week, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

 

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Water levels are stabilizing, but remain elevated with high flows. Water clarity is poor. Water temperatures are in the mid-50's. Use caution when boating in higher flows. Visit the USGS Current Conditions website for more on water levels. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use dead chubs fished in the impoundments or shallow slack water areas. Keep your bait on the river bottom. Walleye - Fair: Try a jig tipped with a minnow or ring worms. Smallmouth Bass - Slow: Crankbaits will tempt a smallie.

Decorah District Streams
Water clarity varies by stream, but most can be fished. Fishing is the only activity allowed on private property open to fishing; all other activities are prohibited. Check the 2019 trout stream stocking calendar  or call the stocking number at 563-927- 5736 to find out when your favorite trout stream will be stocked. Brown Trout - Good: Off-color water from rains drive brown trout crazy. A spinnerbait or subsurface nymph work well. Rainbow Trout - Good: Use cheese or a piece of worm under a bobber for best luck with a spinning rod. Brook Trout - Good: A variety of insects are hatching throughout the day. Matching the hatch is key. On clear streams, use care not to be seen.

Lake Hendricks
The lake is up about a foot with about 3 feet visibility. Water temperatures are in the upper 50's. Fish shallow bays and along rocky shores later in the day and early morning. Black Crappie - Good: Use a hook tipped with a minnow under a bobber near brush piles. Bluegill - Fair: Try a small hook tipped with a a left over waxworm or spike under a bobber. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass are on beds. Use jigs tipped with plastic twister tails or jerkbait. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try a jig tipped with a piece of worm or cheese around the rocky shores with wind-blown material. 

Lake Meyer
Water temperatures cooled this week with temperatures in the upper 50's. Conditions should improve with warmer temperatures and sunshine. Lake levels are up and clarity is fair. Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs tipped with a small piece of worm around rocky shores. Black Crappie - Good: Try small plastic lures or hair jigs fished around shallow submersed logs. Largemouth Bass - Good: Crankbaits or jerkbaits work well. Northern Pike - Fair: Find pike in shallow bays. Try crankbaits, spoons or a hook tipped with cut bait.

Turkey River (above Clermont)
Water levels are falling, but remain elevated with high current. Water temperatures are in the mid-50's with poor water quality.Paddling is not recommended. Walleye - Fair: Use a jig tipped with a minnow or shallow water crankbait in the slack water and eddies below dams. White Sucker - Fair: Try a worm fished off the bottom. Water temperatures in the 50’s turns on the suckers.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Water levels are falling, but remain up about 1 feet and dirty. Flows are high. Paddling is not recommended. Water temperatures are in the mid-50's. Visit the USGS Current Conditions website for more on water levels. Smallmouth Bass - Slow: Smallmouth bass are spawning. When the water clears, bass can be seen guarding nests.

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
Water levels are falling, but remain up about 2 feet with high flows. Clarity is poor. Paddling is not recommended. Water temperatures are in the mid-50's. Smallmouth Bass - Slow. Walleye - Slow: A variety of lures work for walleye. Fish the slack water and eddies below dams and off channel areas. Golden Redhorse - Good: Redhorse are hitting worms fished on the bottom. Use just enough weight to keep the bait down, but you can still feel the strike.

Volga Lake
Water temperatures are in the upper 50s with about 3 feet clarity. Concentrate efforts along rocky shores and shallow warmer water. Bluegill - Fair: Shallow bays and rocky areas are holding bluegills. Black Crappie - Good: Try a hook tipped with a minnow under a bobber or tube jig in deeper water out from shallow rocks. Largemouth Bass - Good: Crankbaits and spinnerbaits fished in shallow bays will hook a bass. Bass are on spawning beds.

Yellow River
The Yellow River is up about a foot with high current and muddy. Paddling is not recommended. Fishing the Yellow River by canoe or kayak is the only legal way to fish without landowner permission. Brown Trout - Slow: Use a spinnerbait or crankbait fished in the slack water eddies and limestone ledges.

Chance of rain through the weekend. Otherwise, spring-like weather for the weekend with temperatures ranging from low 80's to low 50's. Recent rainfall over saturated ground caused rivers and streams to rise and turn muddy. Most have crested but remain dirty. Trout streams are clearing fairly fast and should be ready to fish by the weekend. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.
 

Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Bluegill - Excellent: Bluegill have moved in shallow for spawning. Try a piece of worm under a slip bobber or cast and retrieving a 1/16 oz. jig. Fly rods also work well during spawn. Channel Catfish - Good: Catfish fishing is good throughout the day and excellent after sunset. Use livers, cut baits or stink bait fished on the bottom. Black Crappie - Good: Try a crappie minnow under a slip bobber off of structure for quality 10-12 inch crappie.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
The Cedar River remains high and turbid; no reports at this time.Walleye - Slow. Smallmouth Bass - Slow. Channel Catfish - Fair.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
The Maquoketa remains high, but is dropping. Fishing should improve by the upcoming weekend, if the rain holds off. Smallmouth Bass – Fair. Walleye – Slow.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)|
The Shell Rock River remains high and turbid; no reports at this time. Channel Catfish – Slow. Smallmouth Bass – Slow. Walleye – Slow.

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
The Wapsipinicon River remains high and turbid; no reports at this time.

The spring, early summer weather has not been ideal fishing conditions. Interior rivers remain high and turbid. Lakes are producing area catches of bluegill, crappie and largemouth bass. Trout streams are in good to excellent conditions. Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
River level has risen to 16 feet at Lansing is predicted to remain there this week. Water temperature is 61 degrees.Yellow Perch - Fair: Try light tackle tipped with minnows fished near shore along marina areas. Largemouth Bass - Good: Use weedless artificial baits in the flooded shorelines in areas out of the current. Sauger - Fair: Use small jigs tipped with minnows close to shore in flooded areas. Walleye - Fair: Fish with three-way rigs tipped with a minnow below the dam. Black Crappie - Fair: Use light tackle fished in the flooded trees. Bluegill - Good: The bluegill bite has picked up. Use light tackle tipped with a small piece of worm in areas away from current. Northern Pike - Good: Try artificial baits attached to a leader in backwaters with clearer water. Flathead Catfish - Good: Flathead catfish are feeding just before the spawn. Try golden shiners or small bluegill on heavy tackle in deep channel areas. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use crawlers or cut bait fished on the bottom along main channel borders. 

Mississippi River Pool 10
River level is has risen to 26.2 feet at Lynxville with a slight rise before leveling off this week. Sny Magill ramp is still closed. Water temperature is 62 degrees. Yellow Perch - Fair: Try light tackle tipped with minnows fished near shore along marina areas. Largemouth Bass - Good: Use weedless artificial baits in the flooded shorelines in areas out of the current. Sauger - Fair: Use small jigs tipped with minnows close to shore in flooded areas. Walleye - Good: Fish with three-way rigs tipped with a minnow or a hair jig in side channels. Bluegill - Good: The bluegill bite has picked up. Use light tackle tipped with a small piece of worm in areas away from current. Northern Pike - Good: Try artificial baits attached to a leader in backwaters with clearer water. Flathead Catfish - Good: Flathead catfish are feeding just before the spawn. Try golden shiners or small bluegill on heavy tackle in deep channel areas. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use crawlers or cut bait fished on the bottom along main channel borders. 

Mississippi River Pool 11
River level has risen to 17.4 feet at Guttenberg and is expected to remain at this level for some time. Water temperature is 58 degrees. City ramp and Mud Lake and Finley ramps are still closed. Yellow Perch - Fair: Try light tackle tipped with minnows fished near shore along marina areas. Largemouth Bass - Good: Use weedless artificial baits in the flooded shorelines in areas out of the current. Sauger - Fair: Use small jigs tipped with minnows close to shore in flooded areas. Walleye - Good: Fish with three-way rigs tipped with a minnow or a hair jig in side channels. Bluegill - Good: The bluegill bite has picked up. Use light tackle tipped with a small piece of worm in areas away from current. Northern Pike - Fair: Try artificial baits attached to a leader in backwaters with clearer water. Flathead Catfish - Good: Flathead catfish are feeding just before the spawn. Try golden shiners or small bluegill on heavy tackle in deep channel areas. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use crawlers or cut bait fished on the bottom along main channel borders. 

Upper Mississippi River levels will rise slightly before cresting this week due to recent heavy rainfall. Levels will remain high throughout the week. Many boat ramps are still under water and covered in flood debris. Boaters should operate at no wake speed to reduce damage to shorelines and flooded structures. Fishing has picked up this week with warmer water temperatures. Water clarity is reduced. Water temperature is near 61 degrees.

 

Mississippi River Pool 12
Water levels are expected to crest before leveling off this week. Levels are 18.8 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and 20.4 feet at the RR bridge. Water clarity is fair. The water temperature is 64 degrees. Many boat ramps still have flood debris on them. Northern Pike - Fair: Some northern pike are being caught on flashy lures along the flooded shoreline edges. Common Carp - Good: Shallow flooded areas with lots of sun is a recipe for bowfishing carp. Please do not dispose of the carp on the bank. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish bite is best in flooded conditions. Fish near bank with stink bait or worms.

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water level is rising and is 18.3 feet at Lock and Dam 12 and predicted to crest this week, but will remain high. Water clarity is fair. The water temperature is 64 degrees. Most boat ramps are closed or have debris on them, but the Bellevue City Ramp is back open. Northern Pike - Good: Northerns are biting on flashy lures fished along the shoreline edges. Common Carp - Good: Shallow flooded areas with lots of sun is a recipe for bowfishing carp. Please do not dispose of the carp on the bank. Largemouth Bass - Good: Deep clear flooded areas like Spring Lake have been good. Green Island wildlife area might also hold some bass this year. Walleye - Good: Even in flooded conditions, some walleye are being caught.

Mississippi River Pool 14
Water levels are rising and are near 18.4 feet at Fulton Lock and Dam, 19.8 feet at Camanche and 13.5 feet at LeClaire. Levels are predicted to rise about a foot before leveling off. Water clarity is fair. The water temperature is around 64 degrees. Many boat ramps will have flood debris on them. Common Carp - Good: Shallow flooded areas with lots of sun is a recipe for bowfishing carp. Please do not dispose of the carp on the bank.

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water levels are rising and are near 19.6 feet at Rock Island. Water clarity is fair. The water temperature is around 64 degrees. Boat ramps are flooded or will have debris on them. Common Carp - Good: Shallow flooded areas with lots of sun is a recipe for bowfishing carp. Please do not dispose of the carp on the bank.

Some flooding is still occurring throughout the district; many boat ramps are closed or will have debris on them. Water levels are predicted to rise again before cresting this week. Levels will remain high this week. If you have any fishing questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.

 

Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 20.02 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in Davenport and forecast to reach 21 feet over the weekend. Flood stage is 15 feet at Davenport. River stage is 21.04 feet at Fairport and flood stage is 14 feet. The Marquette St. boat ramp in Davenport is closed. Clark's Ferry, Shady Creek, and the Fairport Recreational Area boat ramps are under water.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 20.71 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and forecast to reach 22.2 feet over the weekend. Flood stage is 15 feet. River stage is 22.50 feet at Muscatine and flood stage is 16 feet. The ramps at Muscatine are closed due to high water. Kilpeck and Big Timber boat ramps are also closed. We have not received any fishing report information for this pool due to the high water.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 22.38 feet at Lock and Dam 17 above New Boston and forecast to reach 23.4 feet over the weekend. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 17. River stage is 21.02 feet at Keithsburg and flood stage is 14 feet. The Toolsboro landing is closed due to high water. The hawkeye dolbee access is also under water. We have not received any fishing report information for this pool this week due to the high water.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 18.8 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington and forecast to reach 19.5 feet over the weekend. Flood stage is 10 feet at Lock and Dam 18. River stage is 23.04 feet at Burlington and flood stage is 15 feet. River stage at Fort Madison is 533.24 feet and flood stage is 528 feet. Many of the boat ramps are closed due to flooding. We have not received any fishing report information for this pool this week due to the high water conditions.

Mississippi River Pools 16-19 have been on the rise. River levels are above major flood stage. Many of the boat ramps are closed due to flooding. Main channel water clarity is poor. We have not received any fishing report information this week due to the high water conditions. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

 

SOUTHEAST

Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)
The Iowa River is down in this section; headed toward moderate flood stage with the crest forecast to be sometime late on Saturday.

Lake Belva Deer
Water level has risen with recent rains; water is pretty cloudy. Last weekend the fishing was pretty good, but has slowed down after the heavy rains. Black Crappie - Slow: Find crappies in 10-12 feet of water; you have to work for them. Largemouth Bass - Slow: A decent percentage of bass have spawned and moved off the beds.

Lake Darling
Wednesday, May 29, the water was over the tops of the fishing jetties. By Thursday, the water dropped 6 inches. The gangways to the boat docks at the ramps remain underwater.

Lost Grove Lake
Heavy rains have brought the lake level up and the water is turning cloudy. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Anglers continue to catch bass; work them out along the edges of the weed beds and around the trees and brush piles in 4-6 feet of water. Black Crappie - Slow: Look for crappies out around the deeper habitat. Bluegill - Fair: Some bluegills are spawning, despite the cooler water temperatures.

Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)
The Skunk River is well above flood stage, with most of the access points underwater.

For more information on the above lake, call the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430.

Hawthorn Lake
Largemouth Bass - Fair: Try rubber worms or spinnerbaits around the rock jetties and along the dam. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try dead chubs or nightcrawlers. 

Lake Miami
Water levels have risen with the recent rains. Black Crappie - Fair: Try jigs tipped with a minnow around the submerged trees. Bluegill - Fair: Try small jigs around the rock jetties and shorelines. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Use rubber worms around the fishing jetties and along the face of the dam. 

Lake Sugema
Water levels are very high. The boat docks and fishing jetties are underwater. The lake is about 6 feet above normal pool. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try spinnerbaits or crankbaits around rock jetties and along the dam. Black Crappie - Fair: Use jigs tipped with a minnow around the flooded timber and submerged structure. Keep moving until you find active fish.

Lake Wapello
Water levels are variable with the recent rains. Bluegill - Fair: Try small jigs along the shorelines. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use cut bait or dead chubs. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Try rubber worms or spinnerbaits around rock jetties and submerged structure. 

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 916.81 msl. Normal operating elevation is 904.0 msl. The water temperature is in the lower 60's. The lake's water level has risen about 7 feet in the last week and will continue to rise with more rain. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels, so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try cut bait or shad sides in areas with flowing water. Black Crappie - Fair: Crappie fishing has slowed with the cooler weather and the rain. Try jigs and minnows along rocky shores and around structure. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Good: Anglers have been successful trolling crankbaits along rocky shores. Walleye - Fair: Try trolling over submerged points or along rocky shores.

Red Haw Lake
Water levels are variable with the recent rains. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use cut bait or dead chubs. Bluegill - Fair: Try small jigs fished around the shores and submerged structure. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try rubber worms or spinnerbaits around brush piles and other submerged structure.

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

Big Creek Lake
Walleye - Good: Use jigs or troll spinner rigs out from the marina to past the beach and around the east and west ramp bays. If shore fishing, cast jigs or live bait under a slip bobber in these same areas. Black Crappie - Fair: Drift small tube and twister tail jigs on the east side of the lake between the beach and East Boat Ramp bay.

Dakins Lake
Bluegill - Good: Catch bluegills out from the north shoreline and jetties with small jigs tipped with crawlers. Good size bluegill from 7 to 9 inches are being caught.

Don Williams Lake
Black Crappie - Fair: Use live minnows near tree falls next to shore or slowly troll jigs 3 to 6 feet deep. A good area to troll is mid-lake between the boat ramp and the beach.

Lake Ahquabi
Bluegill - Good: Catch spawning bluegills shallow with small pieces of nightcrawlers. Fish open spaces in the aquatic vegetation near shore and around tree falls.

Roberts Creek Lake
White Crappie - Good: Use live minnows near shallow wood or drift jigs in coves off the main lake.

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
Farm pond fishing has been steady. Some ponds are turbid due to significant rains last weekend. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are starting to move close to shore. Cast the shoreline to find spawning fish. Black Crappie - Good: Crappie fishing has been good in ponds that support a crappie population; they are spawning. Largemouth Bass - Good: Cast a variety of lures to catch active largemouth bass. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try cut bait or shad sides.

Cold Springs Lake
Cold Springs has a good population of 8 inch bluegill that are moving to shore to spawn. Bluegill - No Report: Cast small jigs north of the beach to find spawning bluegills. Largemouth Bass - Good: Cast the shoreline to catch 12 to 15 inch largemouth bass. Cold Springs has an 18 inch minimum size limit.

Greenfield Lake
Greenfield Lake has a good population of black crappies and fair numbers of walleyes to provide fishing this spring. Black Crappie - Fair: Find crappies around the jetties. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Greenfield has a good population of 12 to 15 inch bass. Bluegill - No Report: Bluegills will average 8 inches. They should move into shore soon, probably by the weekend.

Lake Anita
Look for spawning crappies around the underwater reefs and jetties.Bluegills should be close with warming water temperatures. Black Crappie - Fair: Cast around rocky shores and reefs to find spawning crappies. Bluegill - Fair: With warm temperatures, bluegills should move close to shore and on top of the reefs soon. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Cast along vegetation edges and around structure to find largemouth bass of all sizes.

Lake Manawa
Anglers are still finding good crappie fishing in the canals. Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers report the crappie fishing in the canals has slowed a bit. Cast minnows under a bobber to catch 10 inch crappies. Walleye - Fair: Cast twister tails with a slow retrieve on the west shoreline and along Tin Can dyke.

Littlefield Lake
Anglers were catching spawning bluegills this week. If water clarity remains good, Littlefield will be a good destination this weekend. Bluegill - Good: Cast the shoreline to find spawning bluegill. Fish should average 8 inches. Black Crappie - No Report: Littlefield has a small population of large black crappies.

Orient Lake
Orient Lake has a good population of black crappies that should provide good fishing. Black Crappie - Fair: Cast jigs or minnows along the dam and east shore to find 10 plus inch black crappies. Sorting is needed with a large number of 7 inch fish. Bluegill - Fair: The bluegills look good at Orient and should average 8 inches. Look for spawning fish close to shore.

Viking Lake
A few crappies can still be caught around the jetties and along the underwater reefs. The crappie spawn is winding down at Viking. Black Crappie - Fair: Look for crappies around rocky shores and underwater reefs. They are close to shore spawning. Cast and slowly retrieve a small 1/64th or 1/32nd ounce jig. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Viking Lake has a good population of bass up to 20 inches. Fish rocky shores and flats close to the channel.

Water temperatures are in the upper 60's. Anglers that dodged storms were able to catch spawning crappies last week. For more information, contact the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587.

Green Valley Lake
Largemouth Bass - Fair: Catch largemouth bass of all sizes with jigs and finesse plastics near the fishing jetties and silt dams. Bluegill - Good: Catch bluegill up to 8 inches using small jigs or worms under a bobber fished near cedar tree brush piles or the fishing jetties. Black Crappie - Good: Catch crappie up to 9 inches with small jigs or minnows fished near shallow brush, the fishing pier or fishing jetties.

Lake Icaria
Black Crappie - Fair: Catch crappie up to 10 inches with small jigs or minnows fished near the fishing jetties or cedar tree brush piles, especially early and late in the day. Walleye - Slow: Try jigs tipped with a minnow fished along main lake points for walleye of all sizes. Bluegill - Fair: Use jigs tipped with a nightcrawler fished under a bobber along the fishing jetties or rocky shoreline areas. Channel Catfish - Good: Catch channel catfish of all sizes using cut bait fished near the silt dam or rocky shoreline areas.

Little River Watershed Lake
Bluegill - Good: Catch bluegill up to 9 inches with small jigs fished near the fishing jetties, cedar tree brush piles or shallow bays. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try finesse plastics fished near cedar tree brush piles or rocky shoreline areas for largemouth bass of all sizes. Black Crappie - Slow: Use small jigs fished near cedar tree brush piles or rocky shoreline areas for crappies up to 12 inches. Walleye - Slow: Try jigs tipped with a leech or minnow fished along main lake points for walleye up to 22 inches.

Three Mile Lake
Walleye - Good: Catch walleye up to 22 inches with jigs tipped with a leech or minnow fished near main lake points. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Catch largemouth bass of all sizes using finesse plastics or spinnerbaits fished along rocky shoreline areas. Bluegill - Good: Catch bluegill up to 8 inches with nightcrawlers fished along shallow cedar tree brush piles and the fishing jetties.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
Largemouth Bass - Fair: Try jigs or finesse plastics fished along cedar tree brush piles or shallow brush in the bays for largemouth bass of all sizes. Black Crappie - Fair: Try small jigs or minnows fished near the fishing jetties, along the rock reefs or shallow cedar tree brush piles, especially early and late in the day. Bluegill - Good: Catch bluegill up to 8.5 inches with jigs tipped with a worm fished near the fishing jetties or  shallow brush.

Water temperature in most Mount Ayr district lakes is in the mid to upper 60's. Water levels are 2-3 feet above normal pool at the larger lakes after significant rainfall this week. For more information, please call the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.

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NORTHWEST

Arrowhead Lake
Arrowhead Lake had around 4.5 inches of ice at the boat ramp, as of Dec. 19.

Bacon Creek Lake
Bacon Creek has around 4 inches of ice. A few anglers have been out on foot.

Black Hawk Lake
As of Dec. 19, there was 6 inches of ice off the Ice House Point boat ramp. There are still open water fishing opportunities at the Fish House and the Inlet Bridge. Yellow Perch - Fair: Anglers are catching some perch around Shotgun Hill and the Ice House Point boat ramp. Keeper size perch range from 8- to 12-inches.

Black Hawk Pits
There is 5 inches of ice at the Black Hawk Pits boat ramp, as of Dec. 19.

Browns Lake
Browns Lake has around 6 inches of ice.

North Twin Lake
There was around 4 inches of ice on North Twin earlier this week. Some anglers have been out on foot.

Lakes in West Central Iowa are pretty well iced over. Foot traffic on the ice is increasing. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.

Beeds Lake
Ice thickness is 4 to 5 inches.  

Clear Lake
Ice thickness is 7 to 8 inches. Bluegill - Slow: Use a small jig tipped with a waxworm near the edge of vegetation. Yellow Perch - Good: Yellow perch are biting on a variety of baits. You may have to change your technique to catch larger fish. Walleye - Fair: Try small jigs tipped with a minnow head. Black Crappie – Slow.

Crystal Lake
Ice thickness is 5 to 6 inches. No fishing activity reported.

Lake Smith
Ice thickness is 5 to 7 inches. Anglers are catching small bluegills and a few crappies. Use caution near the aeration hole southeast of the island.

Little Wall Lake
Ice thickness is 4 to 5 inches. Anglers reported catching small crappies and bluegills.

Lower Pine Lake
Ice thickness is 4.5 inches at the boat ramp. Ice thickness varies significantly across the lake; there is a large area of open water between the island and the beach.  

Rice Lake
Ice thickness is 6 to 8 inches. Bluegill – Slow. Yellow Perch – Slow.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Ice thickness is 6 to 8 inches. Bluegills are biting on small jigs tipped with a waxworm.

Upper Pine Lake
Ice thickness is 4.5 inches at the boat ramp. Ice thickness varies significantly across the lake.

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
Ice thickness is 5 to 7 inches. Bluegill - Good: Sorting is needed, but the bite has been good in the southern section of the lake along the weed line. Use small jigs and wigglers near the trestle and the Hattie Elston Boat Ramp. Walleye - Good: Fishing near Parks Marina in the evening has been good. Use spoons, jigging raps, or minnows in early morning or evening.

Ingham Lake
The aeration system has been started. Use caution in the southeast side of the lake. Signs are up around the aerator hole.

Lost Island Lake
Yellow Perch – Fair. Walleye – Fair.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
The aeration system has been started. Use caution on the east side of the lake. Signs are up around the aeration holes.

Spirit Lake
Ice thickness is 7-9 inches. Walleye - Good: Fish 1 hour before and after sunrise or sunset. Use spoons or jigging raps tipped with minnow heads in 12-14 feet of water. Also try live minnows. Bluegill - Fair: Use wigglers and small jigs in Anglers Bay and Trickles Slough. Yellow Perch - Good: Try minnows and small jigs in Anglers Bay and Minniwaukon. Black Crappie – Fair.

Trumbull Lake
Yellow Perch - Fair: Size quality is outstanding with some sorting. Use jigs and minnows or wigglers in the main lake.

West Okoboji Lake
West Okoboji was the last lake to fully ice up, locking up Dec. 12. Use extreme caution when heading out on the ice; check ice thickness and conditions regularly. Ice thickness has been up to 5 inches in small bays and thinner on the main lake. Bluegill - Fair: Little Emerson Bay has been producing a few nice bluegills; sorting is needed. Walleye - Fair: Fish rocky areas in 18-20 feet of water. Live minnows work best an hour before and after sunset. Smallmouth Bass - Good: A unique early season bite has been reported in Little Emerson Bay. 

Ice thickness has improved with thickness ranging from 4-10 inches. Use caution with ATV’s. No vehicle traffic is advised. Water flow into and out of area lakes has caused weak areas around bridges and other constrictions. Use caution and test the ice often. Aeration systems at Center Lake, Silver Lake (near Lake Park), and Ingham Lake have been started and signs put up. Stay clear of these systems. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.

 

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Backwaters and slack water areas frozen. Use care when crossing areas with current. Check depths often. Anglers are finding fish. Black Crappie - Fair: Find deeper water or off-channel refuges out of current. Use waxworms or spikes. Yellow Perch - Slow: Anglers are finding a few perch mixed in with the crappie.

Decorah District Streams
Stocked fish remain in streams through the winter creating excellent angling opportunities. Trout streams with good flows stay open even during winter. Second shotgun deer season closes Sunday; wear bright orange and be visible to hunters. Brown Trout - Good: Try a fly imitating small silvery fish. Feathered spinner baits work well when fished through pools. Rainbow Trout - Good: Use an ultra-light pole and reel for fun action. Try a spinner in eddies and around structure. Brook Trout - Good: With fewer insect hatches, try using flies imitating minnows such as a wholly bugger.

Lake Hendricks
Lake Hendricks has about 6 inches of ice with a skiff of snow on top. Water has a brown tint to it. Open water around the aerator. Not safe for ice fishing. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the ice. Black Crappie - Good: Use a small jig tipped with a waxworm. Fish are suspended off the bottom. Bluegill - Good: Use a baited hook; gills are sitting closer to the bottom.

Lake Meyer
Lake Meyer has about 5 inches of ice. Hit or miss action on panfish, but no limits yet. Bluegill - Good: Use a small jig tipped with a waxworm around brush piles. Black Crappie - Good: Crappie are suspended above brush piles. Baited hooks work best.

Turkey River (above Clermont)
Backwaters and slack water areas are ice covered. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on Vernon Springs impoundment when covered with ice. Water is crystal clear. Check ice depths often, especially where there is current.

Volga Lake
Volga Lake has about 6 inches of ice. Use care when going on ice; check depths often. Black Crappie - Fair: Use waxworms or spikes fished in brush or rock piles. Bluegill - Fair: Try small bait on small hooks. Gills are small.

Great weekend weather to go ice fishing. Low 40's for highs to low 20's for lows. Many rivers have areas of open water. Use care when around areas with current. Most area lakes have about 5 inches of ice. Trout streams are good to excellent. For current fishing information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

Alice Wyth Lake
Anglers are catching panfish on Alice Wyth Lake, but size structure is small. Bluegill - Fair: Try vertical jigging with an ice jig tipped with a spike or waxworm. Black Crappie - Fair: Try vertical jigging with an ice jig tipped with a spike or waxworm or fish a dead stick with a live minnow tipped on a jig.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
No reports on the Cedar River in Black Hawk and Bremer counties this past week. Walleye - No Report: Cast and retrieve crankbaits or use jig and minnow near instream habitat or deeper overwintering areas.

Horton Pond
Anglers are fishing Horton Pond, but there are no catch reports. Bluegill - No Report: Try vertical jigging with an ice jig tipped with a spike or waxworm.

Manchester District Streams
Most streams have great populations of wild brown trout and catchable stocked rainbow trout.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
No reports this past week on the Maquoketa River in Delaware County. Walleye - No Report: Cast and retrieve crankbaits or use jig and minnow near instream habitat or deeper overwintering areas.

Martens Lake
Reports of anglers catching some bluegill ice fishing Martens Lake early morning; sorting may be needed. Bluegill - Fair: Try vertical jigging with an ice jig tipped with a spike or waxworm.

North Prairie Lake
Reports of anglers catching some trout out of North Prairie Lake. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout - Fair: Try vertical jigging with a small flashy jig tipped with or without a waxworm.

Plainfield
Anglers are fishing Plainfield Lake, but there are no catch reports. Bluegill - No Report: Try vertical jigging with an ice jig tipped with a spike or waxworm.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
No reports this past week on the Shell Rock River in Bremer and Butler counties. Walleye - No Report: Cast and retrieve crankbaits or use jig and minnow near instream habitat or deeper overwintering areas.

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
No reports on the Wapsipinicon River in Buchanan County this past week. Walleye - No Report: Cast and retrieve or troll crankbaits or use jig and minnow near instream habitat or deeper overwintering areas.

Ice flows on the interior rivers are stopping any reports right now. Second shotgun deer season again this weekend; wear orange if at all possible if out fishing. Lakes and ponds are just starting to lay down some good ice, but the extended seven day forecast may deteriorate that quickly. Use extreme caution if ice fishing throughout this warm-up. All trout streams remain in excellent condition. Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
River level is 8.9 feet at Lansing and expected to continue to fluctuate slightly this week. Ice is just starting to form on backwaters; ice fishing is not recommended until the ice strengthens. Water temperature is 32 degrees. Walleye - Fair: A lot of smaller fish are being caught. Vertical jigging with twister tails or trolling crankbaits has been successful in Lock and Dams tailwaters. Sauger - Fair: Vertical jigging with twister tails or jig tipped with minnows has had the most success in Lock and Dams tailwaters. Yellow Perch - Fair: Fish for perch through the ice in deeper cuts with some vegetation in backwater areas. Black Crappie - Slow: Few reports of crappie mixed with bluegills fished through the ice. Bluegill - Good: Bluegill are biting on waxworms fished through the ice in backwater lakes. 

Mississippi River Pool 10
River level is 616.9 feet at Lynxville and expected to rise slightly this week. The ramp at Lynxville may be difficult to use because of ice flows. Ice is just starting to form on backwaters; ice fishing is not recommended until the ice strengthens. Water temperature is 34 degrees. Walleye - Fair: A lot of smaller fish are being caught. Vertical jigging with twister tails or trolling crankbaits has been successful in Lock and Dams tailwaters. Sauger - Fair: Try jigs tipped with a minnow in the tailwaters of the Lock & Dams. Yellow Perch - Fair: Fish for perch through the ice in deeper cuts with some vegetation in backwater areas. Black Crappie - Slow: Few reports of crappie mixed with bluegills fished through the ice. Bluegill - Good: Bluegill are biting on waxworms fished through the ice in backwater lakes. 

Mississippi River Pool 11
River level is 8.4 feet at Guttenberg and is expected to continue to rise slightly then level out this week. Ice is just starting to form on backwaters; ice fishing is not recommended until the ice strengthens. The DNR ramp has iced in, but make breakup with warmer weather. The city ramp may be difficult to use because of ice flows. Water temperature is 32 degrees. Walleye - Fair: A lot of smaller fish are being caught. Vertical jigging with twister tails or trolling crankbaits has been successful in Lock and Dams tailwaters. Sauger - Fair: Try jigs tipped with a minnow in the tailwaters of the Lock & Dams. Yellow Perch - Fair: Fish for perch through the ice in deeper cuts with some vegetation in backwater areas. Black Crappie - Slow: Few reports of crappie mixed with bluegills fished through the ice.

Upper Mississippi River levels have fallen, but some fluctuation is occurring this week. Many of the roller gates are now down which will help stabilize tailwater areas. A lot of new ice is flowing down the channel which will make fishing difficult; some ramps are starting to ice in. Ice is just starting to form on backwaters with reports of up to 4 inches. Caution is recommend ice fishing until the ice strengthens. Areas of current do not have safe ice. Water temperature is 32 degrees

 

Mississippi River Pool 12
The water level is 7.5 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and 10 feet at the RR bridge. River levels at Dubuque are expected to hold steady over the next week. The water temperature is 34 degrees. Water clarity is good. The tailwater has been mostly iced in or has had ice flows. It may become accessible with expected warmer temperatures. Sauger - Good: Tailwater sauger fishing has most anglers are using a jig and minnow. Lots of small sauger and small walleye are being reported. The tailwater may open up with warmer temperatures this weekend. Black Crappie - Fair: Backwater ice has just started and is marginal. Some crappies are being caught. Walleye - Fair: Most anglers are pulling crank baits in the tailwaters. Yellow Perch - Good: Yellow perch are starting to show up in the ice fishing creel. Bluegill - Slow: Most bluegill fishing has been slow, but some experienced anglers are finding fish.

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water level is 7.9 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam and is steady. The water temperature is 33 degrees. Water clarity is good. Tailwaters experienced significant ice flows at times, but is presently ice free. Sauger - Good: Most anglers are using a jig and minnow. Walleye - Fair: Some walleyes are being reported by anglers pulling double Rapalas or a floating jig head with a minnow. 

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is 6.2 feet at the Fulton Lock and Dam, 10.2 feet at Camanche and 5.1 feet at LeClaire. Water temperature is around 33 degrees. River levels are expected to rise slightly next week. Walleye - Fair: Some walleyes are being taken on double Rapala rigs. Sauger - Good: Use a jig tipped with a minnow. Lots of small fish reported. 

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water levels are 7 feet at Rock Island and will fall this week. The water temperature is around 33 degrees. Water clarity is good. 

Tailwaters were receiving high fishing pressure, but some ice flows are occurring. If you have any fishing questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.

Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 7.03 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and is forecast to reach 7.4 feet by Tuesday. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 15. A bunch of floating ice chunks at the Marquette St Landing in Davenport could make loading and unloading boats difficult. Unsafe ice conditions. Walleye - Slow: Look for walleyes in the tailwaters. Use jigs and minnows or troll three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits. Sauger - Slow: Look for saugers in the tailwaters. Try jigs and minnows or troll three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits. 

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 5.95 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is rising slightly. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 16. River stage is 8.16 feet at Muscatine; flood stage is 16 feet. As of Dec. 19th, there is a bunch of floating ice chunks at the Muscatine ramps that could make loading and unloading boats difficult. The gates at the Lock and Dam were back in the water. Unsafe ice conditions. Walleye - No Report: Look for walleyes by the dam. Try vertical jigging with minnows or pulling three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits. Sauger - No Report: Use jigs and minnows or pull three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits in the tailwaters. 

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 7.03 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and is forecast to reach 7.5 feet by Monday. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 17. River stage is 8.77 feet at Keithsburg; flood stage is 14 feet. A couple of days ago there was a ridge of ice at the bottom of the ramp and there was a lot of flow ice at Toolsboro. We have not received any tailwater fishing reports for walleye and sauger. Unsafe ice conditions. Sauger - No Report: Look for saugers below the dam. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits. Walleye - No Report: Look for walleyes below the dam. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 4.41 feet at Lock and Dam 18 and has been steady the past few days. Flood stage is 10 feet at Lock and Dam 18. River stage is 10.43 feet at Burlington; flood stage is 15 feet. River stage is 526.8 feet at Fort Madison; flood stage is 528 feet. We have not received any fishing report information for this pool. 

Tailwater stages have been steady to rising slightly this past week. Main channel water temperature is around 32 degrees. Unsafe ice conditions. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

 

SOUTHEAST

Big Hollow Lake
Unsafe ice.

Lake Belva Deer
Open water and unsafe thin icewith a little snow on top.

Lake Darling
About 100 acres of open water surrounded by about 1 inch of ice. Unsafe ice thickness.

Lake Darling District Farm Ponds
Getting closer to two inches, thick but not there yet.  

Lost Grove Lake
Ice is getting a little thicker, but still way too thin to walk on.

Pollmiller Park Lake
The lake finally skimmed over with ice, but the 3 inches of snow on top isn't helping it build more ice.

For more information on the above lake, call the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430.

Coralville Reservoir
Much of the lake is ice covered, but it is extremely variable due to falling water conditions and increased flows over the past week. The lake is now down to winter pool of 683.4 feet.

Diamond Lake
The lake is partially covered in skim ice.

Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
Skim ice formed over most of the lake this week.

Lake Macbride
Most of the lake is ice covered, but the ice is extremely variable. Some areas have 3 inches. A few anglers out, but ice fishing is not recommended.

Otter Creek Lake
The lake is ice covered. Much of the lake has 3-4 inches, but it can vary. There have been some anglers out; use caution.

Pleasant Creek Lake
The lake is ice covered and variable. Ice fishing is not recommended.

Wapsipinicon River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)
Skim ice has formed over the backwaters, but is still unsafe. The boat ramp in Pinicon Ridge is closed for the winter.

Most lakes/ponds now have skim ice; there is no safe ice in this area. For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.

Lake Miami
Skim ice is forming overnight when cold enough, making fishing difficult.

Lake Sugem
Skim ice is forming in some of the bays. Geese are keeping large areas open.

Lake Wapello
Skim ice is forming at night, making fishing difficult.

Ottumwa Park Pond South
Trout were stocked on Oct. 25th. The pond is covered in skim ice, making fishing difficult. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 904.23 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. Most docks have been pulled out for the season and most campgrounds are closed. The bays and coves will start to be covered with skim ice, making fishing difficult.

Red Haw Lake
Skim ice is forming overnight, making fishing difficult.

There has been very little angler activity in the last week. There is no safe ice in the Rathbun district. The district includes Appanoose, Davis, Lucas, Mahaska, Monroe, Wapello, Wayne and Van Buren counties. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.

 

SOUTHWEST

Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
As of Dec. 18, there was 4.5 inches of ice off the boat ramp. Rainbow Trout - Fair: Catch trout through the ice fishing 5 to 20 yards off shore using panfish jigs and small jigging spoons tipped with waxworms. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.  

Big Creek Lake
As of Dec. 18, anglers were just starting to test the ice and try fishing. Ice conditions are variable, with thin ice yet further out from shore. There was 6 inches of ice at the 100th Street Ramp, 3 inches at West Ramp, 5 inches at the East Ramp and 3 inches at the Marina Ramp.

Don Williams Lake
As of Dec. 18, there was 5 inches of ice off the boat ramp. A couple anglers were out. Use caution, the ice is still variable. Black Crappie - Good: Expect fair to good crappie fishing this winter with many 8.5- to 10-inch fish. Fish suspended fish over the stump covered ridge that extends out from the shoreline across from the boat ramp.

Lake Petocka
As of Dec. 18, there was 4 to 6 inches of ice. Rainbow Trout - Good: Catch trout through the ice using panfish jigs and small jigging spoons tipped with waxworms. Start by fishing close to shore in 3 to 5 feet of water.  If no activity, keep moving slightly deeper until fish are found. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Ponds and lakes in Central Iowa have formed ice ranging from 2 to 6 inches. Anglers are just starting to check ice and start fishing. For more information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, call Ben Dodd at 641-891-3795 or Andy Otting at 515-204-5885.

Big Lake (Including Gilbert's Pond)
Unsafe ice. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.  

Lake Anita
There was some activity on the ice last week. Ice thickness is variable from open water to 4 inches. Use extreme caution. Black Crappie - No Report: 10 inch black crappie were collected in the DNR fall survey. Bluegill - No Report: Anita consistently produces 8 inch plus bluegills.

Littlefield Lake
Ice thickness is variable up to 4 inches. Some activity on the ice last week. Use caution. Bluegill - Good: Fish around the brush piles and sort for 8 inch plus fish.

Ice conditions have improved on the lakes in the northern part of the district. For more information call the SW District Office at 712-769-2587.

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NORTHWEST

Arrowhead Lake
Arrowhead Lake had around 3-4 inches of ice at the boat ramp on Dec. 26. There has been little fishing activity. Use extreme caution.

Bacon Creek Lake
On Dec. 23, the DNR stocked about 1500 rainbow trout ranging from 10-12 inches long. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.  Ice thickness was 5 inches on Dec. 23. Use caution and check ice often if you venture out. Predicted rain over the weekend may further deteriorate ice conditions. Rainbow Trout - Fair: Use a piece of worm, small minnow, or power bait bite fished under a bobber. Put the bait on a small hook or small and shiny jig.

Black Hawk Lake
As of Dec. 26, there was 5 inches of ice off the Ice House Point boat ramp. There are still open water fishing opportunities at the Fish House and the Inlet Bridge. There is thinner ice and open areas in the east basin. Yellow Perch - Fair: Anglers are catching some perch around Shotgun Hill and the Ice House Point boat ramp. Keeper size perch range from 8- to 12-inches. Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers have picked up some fish using minnows on a small jig.

Black Hawk Pits
There was 3-4 inches of ice at the Black Hawk Pits boat ramp on Dec. 26. Forecast temperatures and rain over the weekend may deteriorate ice conditions. Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers have picked up some perch on minnows.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Reports of variable ice thickness on Storm Lake from 2-8 inches. Foot traffic only is recommended. Use extreme caution; may be some open areas and seams. Predicted rain over the weekend may further deteriorate ice conditions. Anglers have reported catching perch, walleye, and some crappie.

Lakes in West Central Iowa have lost 1-2 inches of ice since last week. As of Dec. 26th, ice thickness ranges from 2-8 inches on area lakes. Geese have kept several areas open on some lakes. Foot traffic only is recommended in our district at this time. Use extreme caution; predicted temperatures and rain over the weekend may further deteriorate ice conditions. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.

Beeds Lake
Ice thickness is 4 to 5 inches.  

Clear Lake
Ice thickness is 8 to 9 inches. Use caution near the rushes. Bluegill - Slow: Use a small jig tipped with a waxworm near the edge of vegetation. Yellow Perch - Good: Yellow perch are biting on a variety of baits. You may have to change your technique to catch larger fish. Walleye - Fair: Try small jigs tipped with a minnow head. Black Crappie – Slow.

Crystal Lake
Ice thickness is 5 to 6 inches. No fishing activity reported.

Lake Smith
Ice thickness is 5 to 7 inches. Anglers are catching small bluegills and a few crappies. Use caution near the aeration hole southeast of the island.

Rice Lake
Ice thickness is 6 to 8 inches. Bluegill – Slow. Yellow Perch – Slow.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Ice thickness is 6 to 8 inches.

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
Ice thickness is 5 to 7 inches. Bluegill - Fair: Sorting is needed, but the bite has been good in the southern section of the lake along the weed line. Use small jigs and wigglers near the trestle and the Hattie Elston Boat Ramp. Walleye - Good: Fishing near Parks Marina in the evening has been good. Use spoons, jigging raps, or minnows in early morning or evening. Yellow Bass – Fair.

Ingham Lake
The aeration system has been started. Use caution in the southeast side of the lake. Signs are up around the aerator hole.

Lost Island Lake
Yellow Perch – Fair. Walleye – Fair.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
The aeration system has been started. Use caution on the east side of the lake. Signs are up around the aeration holes.

Spirit Lake
Ice thickness is 7-10 inches. Walleye - Good: Fish 1 hour before and after sunrise or sunset. Use spoons or jigging raps tipped with minnow heads in 12-14 feet of water. Also try live minnows. Reports of lots of slot size and bigger fish. Bluegill - Good: Use wigglers and small jigs in Anglers Bay and Trickles Slough. Yellow Perch - Good: Try minnows and small jigs in Anglers Bay and Minniwaukon. Best bite is early and late. Black Crappie – Fair.

Trumbull Lake
Yellow Perch - Fair: Size quality is outstanding with some sorting. Use jigs and minnows or wigglers in the main lake.

West Okoboji Lake
West Okoboji ice conditions are variable. Use extreme caution when heading out and check ice thickness and conditions regularly. Ice thickness has been up to 5 inches in small bays and thinner on the main lake. Bluegill - Good: Little Emerson Bay has been producing a few nice bluegills; sorting is needed. Walleye - Fair: Fish rocky areas in 18-20 feet of water. Live minnows work best an hour before and after sunset. Smallmouth Bass - Good: A unique early season bite has been reported in Little Emerson Bay. 

Ice thickness is 4-10 inches on area lakes. Warmer weather has slowed ice formation, but the quality is generally good. Some large seams and ridges have become evident; atay away from these areas. Use caution with ATV’s. No vehicle traffic is advised. Water flow into and out of the area lakes has caused weak areas around bridges and other constrictions. Aeration systems at Center Lake, Silver Lake (near Lake Park), and Ingham Lake have been started and signs are put up. Stay clear of these systems. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.

 

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Backwaters and slack water areas are frozen. Use care when crossing areas with current. Check depths often. Anglers are finding fish. Black Crappie - Fair: Find deeper water or off-channel refuges out of current. Use waxworms or spikes. Yellow Perch - Slow: Anglers are finding a few perch mixed in with the crappie.

Decorah District Streams
Stocked fish remain in streams through the winter creating excellent angling opportunities. Trout streams with good flows stay open even during winter. Check our 2020 Winter Community Trout Stocking Schedule to find out when trout may be coming to a community near you. Wear bright orange and be visible to hunters when fishing wildlife management areas. Brown Trout - Good: Try a fly imitating small silvery fish. Feathered spinner baits work well when fished through pools. Rainbow Trout - Good: Use an ultra-light pole and reel for fun action. Try a spinner in eddies and around structure. Brook Trout - Good: With fewer insect hatches, try using flies imitating minnows such as a wholly bugger.

Lake Hendricks
Lake Hendricks has about 5 inches of ice with water sitting on top. Water has a brown tint to it. Open water around the aerator. Not safe for ice fishing. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the ice. Black Crappie - Good: Use a small jig tipped with a waxworm. Fish are suspended off the bottom. Bluegill - Good: Use a baited hook; gills are sitting closer to the bottom.

Lake Meyer
Lake Meyer has about 5 inches of ice. Hit or miss action on panfish, but no limits yet. Bluegill - Good: Use a small jig tipped with a waxworm around brush piles. Black Crappie - Good: Crappie are suspended above brush piles. Baited hooks work best.

Turkey River (above Clermont)
Backwaters and slack water areas are ice covered. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on Vernon Springs impoundment when covered with ice. Water is crystal clear. Check ice depths often, especially where there is current.

Volga Lake
Volga Lake has about 6 inches of ice. Use care when going on ice; check depths often. Warmer temperatures are melting surface ice, causing extra slippery conditions. Black Crappie - Fair: Use waxworms or spikes fished in brush or rock piles. Bluegill - Fair: Try small bait on small hooks. Gills are small.

Great weather continues through the week to go ice fishing. Low 40's for highs to low 20's for lows. Ice conditions can change quickly with warmer daytime temperatures. Many rivers have areas of open water. Use care when around areas with current. Most area lakes have about 5 inches of ice. Trout streams are good to excellent. For current fishing information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
No reports on the Cedar River in Black Hawk and Bremer counties this past week. Walleye - No Report: Cast and retrieve crankbaits or use jig and minnow near instream habitat or deeper overwintering areas.

Manchester District Streams
Most streams have great populations of wild brown trout and catchable stocked rainbow trout.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
No reports this past week on the Maquoketa River in Delaware County. Walleye - No Report: Cast and retrieve crankbaits or use jig and minnow near instream habitat or deeper overwintering areas.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
No reports this past week on the Shell Rock River in Bremer and Butler counties. Walleye - No Report: Cast and retrieve crankbaits or use jig and minnow near instream habitat or deeper overwintering areas.

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
No reports on the Wapsipinicon River in Buchanan County this past week. Walleye - No Report: Cast and retrieve crankbaits or use jig and minnow near instream habitat or deeper overwintering areas.

Anglers are taking back to the interior rivers for walleye fishing. Ice conditions have quickly deteriorated with the recent warm weather; ice fishing is not recommended. . All trout streams remain in excellent condition. Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
River level is 9.4 feet at Lansing and expected to fluctuate slightly this week. Ice is just starting to form on backwaters; ice fishing is not recommended until the ice strengthens. Water temperature is 32 degrees. Walleye - Fair: A lot of smaller fish are being caught. Vertical jigging with twister tails or trolling crankbaits has been successful in Lock and Dams tailwaters. Sauger - Fair: Vertical jigging with twister tails or jig tipped with minnows has had the most success in Lock and Dams tailwaters. Yellow Perch - Fair: Fish for perch through the ice in deeper cuts with some vegetation in backwater areas. Black Crappie - Slow: Few reports of crappie mixed with bluegills fished through the ice. Bluegill - Good: Bluegill are biting on waxworms fished through the ice in backwater lakes. 

Mississippi River Pool 10
River level is 618.1 feet at Lynxville and expected to rise slightly before leveling off. Ice is just starting to form on backwaters; ice fishing is not recommended until the ice strengthens. Water temperature is 34 degrees. Walleye - Fair: A lot of smaller fish are being caught. Vertical jigging with twister tails or trolling crankbaits has been successful in Lock and Dams tailwaters. Sauger - Fair: Try jigs tipped with a minnow in the tailwaters of the Lock & Dams. Yellow Perch - Fair: Fish for perch through the ice in deeper cuts with some vegetation in backwater areas. Black Crappie - Slow: Few reports of crappie mixed with bluegills fished through the ice. Bluegill - Good: Bluegill are biting on waxworms fished through the ice in backwater lakes. 

Mississippi River Pool 11
River level at Guttenberg has risen more than a foot to 10 feet and is expected to level out this week. Ice is just starting to form on backwaters; ice fishing is not recommended until the ice strengthens. Water temperature is 32 degrees. Walleye - Fair: A lot of smaller fish are being caught. Vertical jigging with twister tails or trolling crankbaits has been successful in Lock and Dams tailwaters. Sauger - Fair: Try jigs tipped with a minnow in the tailwaters of the Lock & Dams. Yellow Perch - Fair: Fish for perch through the ice in deeper cuts with some vegetation in backwater areas. Black Crappie - Slow: Few reports of crappie mixed with bluegills fished through the ice.

Upper Mississippi River levels have risen slightly and are fluctuating this week. Many of the roller gates are now down; this will help stabilize tailwater areas. A lot of new ice is flowing down the channel which will make fishing difficult; some ramps are starting to ice in. Caution is recommend when ice fishing until the ice strengthens. Areas of current do not have safe ice. Water temperature is 32 degrees

 

Mississippi River Pool 12
The water level is 8 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and 10.4 feet at the RR bridge. River levels at Dubuque were expected to rise early week then start to recede. The water temperature is 34 degrees. Water clarity is good. Tailwater fishing is taking place, but periodic ice flows are occurring. Backwater ice is marginal for ice fishing within Pool 12. Sauger - Good: Tailwater sauger fishing has most anglers using a jig and minnow. Lots of small sauger and small walleye are being reported. The tailwater may open up with warmer temperatures this weekend. Black Crappie - Fair: Backwater ice is marginal. Some crappies are being caught. Walleye - Fair: Most anglers are pulling crank baits in the tailwaters. Yellow Perch - Good: Yellow perch have shown up in the ice fishing creel. Bluegill - Slow: Most bluegill fishing has been slow, but some experienced anglers are finding fish. Ice is marginal. 

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water level is around 8.5 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam. Water level will rise early week and then recede again. The water temperature is 34 degrees. Water clarity is good. Tailwater fishing is taking place, but periodic ice flows are occurring. Backwater ice is marginal for ice fishing. Sauger - Good: Most anglers are using a jig and minnow. Walleye - Good: Some walleyes are being reported by anglers pulling double Rapalas or a floating jig head with a minnow. Bluegill - No Report: Ice thickness is marginal at best for ice fishing.

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is 7.5 feet at the Fulton Lock and Dam, 11 feet at Camanche and 6 feet at LeClaire. Water temperature is around 34 degrees. River levels were expected to rise early week then recede again. Walleye - Fair: Some walleyes are being taken on double Rapala rigs. Sauger - Good: Use a jig tipped with a minnow. Lots of small fish reported. 

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water levels are around 8.2 feet at Rock Island and is expected to recede. The water temperature is around 34 degrees. Water clarity is good. 

Tailwaters are receiving high fishing pressure, but some ice flows are occurring at times. If you have any fishing questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.

Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities has risen close to 2.5 feet since last week to 9.71 feet. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 15. The Marquette St boat ramp is open. Unsafe ice conditions. Walleye - Fair: Look for walleyes in the tailwaters. Use jigs and minnows or troll three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits. Sauger - Fair: Look for saugers in the tailwaters. Try jigs and minnows or troll three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits. Mostly small saugers are being caught. 

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 8.52 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is rising. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 16. River stage is 10.18 feet at Muscatine; flood stage is 16 feet. Tailwater fishing for walleye and saugers has been slow. Unsafe ice conditions. Walleye - Slow: Look for walleyes by the dam. Try vertical jigging with minnows or pulling three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits. Sauger - Slow: Use jigs and minnows or pull three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits in the tailwaters. 

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 9.62 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and is rising. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 17. River stage is 10.29 feet at Keithsburg; flood stage is 14 feet. The gates are out of the water at the Lock and Dam. Unsafe ice conditions. Sauger - Slow: Look for saugers below the dam. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits. Walleye - Slow: Look for walleyes below the dam. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 6.38 feet at Lock and Dam 18 and is rising. Flood stage is 10 feet at Lock and Dam 18. River stage is 11.47 feet at Burlington; flood stage is 15 feet. River stage is 526.55 feet at Fort Madison; flood stage is 528 feet. The Tama Beach boat ramp is still frozen in and the parking lot is muddy. We have not received any fishing report information for this pool. Unsafe ice conditions. 

Tailwater stages have risen close to 2.5 feet since last Friday. Main channel water temperature is around 35 degrees. There has been some tailwater fishing this past week with the warm temperatures. Unsafe ice conditions. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

 

SOUTHEAST

Big Hollow Lake
Open water and slush on the ice that is still there.

Lake Belva Deer
Unsafe ice; very thin and melting.

Lake Darling
Three days of near 60 degree weather has melted ice. The middle of the lake is wide open; most of the ice left has water on top of it and is more like slush.

Lake Darling District 
Some of the smaller ponds out in the open are nearly ice free now. Rain forecast for this Saturday should melt more of the ice.

Lost Grove Lake
Warm weather is weakening what ice is there. Forecast above freezing temperatures won't build ice.

Pollmiller Park Lake
Unsafe ice and open water.

For more information on the above lake, call the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430.

Coralville Reservoir
The ice is opening back up in the channel area; the remaining ice is unsafe. The lake is at winter pool of 683.4 feet.

Lake Macbride
The lake is 95% ice covered, but the ice is unsafe.

Pleasant Creek Lake
The lake is covered with unsafe ice.

Most lakes/ponds now have skim ice; there is no safe ice in this area. For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.

Lake Miami
Skim ice is forming overnight when cold enough, making fishing difficult.

Lake Sugem
Skim ice is forming in some of the bays. Geese are keeping large areas open.

Lake Wapello
Skim ice is forming at night, making fishing difficult.

Ottumwa Park Pond South
Trout were stocked on Oct. 25th. The pond is covered in skim ice, making fishing difficult. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 904.04 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. Docks have been pulled out for the season and most campgrounds are closed. The bays and coves will start to be covered with skim ice, making fishing difficult.

Red Haw Lake
Skim ice is forming overnight, making fishing difficult.

There has been very little angler activity in the last week. There is no safe ice in the Rathbun district. The district includes Appanoose, Davis, Lucas, Mahaska, Monroe, Wapello, Wayne and Van Buren counties. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.

 

SOUTHWEST

Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
Ice fishing is not recommended until ice conditions improve. Rainbow Trout - Fair: When ice conditions improve, catch trout 5 to 20 yards off shore using panfish jigs and small jigging spoons tipped with waxworms. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.  

Big Creek Lake

Ice fishing is not recommended until ice conditions improve.

Don Williams Lake
Ice fishing is not recommended until ice conditions improve. Black Crappie - Good: Expect fair to good crappie fishing this winter with many 8.5- to 10-inch fish. Fish suspended fish over the stump covered ridge that extends out from the shoreline across from the boat ramp.

Lake Petocka
Ice fishing is not recommended until ice conditions improve. Rainbow Trout - Good: When ice conditions improve, catch trout with panfish jigs and small jigging spoons tipped with waxworms. Start by fishing close to shore in 3 to 5 feet of water. If no activity, keep moving slightly deeper until you find fish. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Ice fishing in Central Iowa is not recommended until conditions improve. For more information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, call Ben Dodd at 641-891-3795 or Andy Otting at 515-204-5885.

Big Lake (Including Gilbert's Pond)
Unsafe ice. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.  

Lake Anita
Warm temperatures have deteriorated ice conditions at Lake Anita.

Littlefield Lake
Littlefield had 4.5 inches of ice. Ice fishing is not recommended with forecast warm temperatures and rain this weekend.

Ice fishing in the southwest Iowa is not recommended. More reports will become available as conditions improve. For more information call the SW District Office at 712-769-2587.

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NORTHWEST

Arrowhead Lake
Arrowhead Lake had around 3-4 inches of ice at the boat ramp on Jan. 2. Ice has pulled away from shore in some areas. There has been little fishing activity. 

Black Hawk Lake
As of Jan. 2, there was 5 inches of ice off the Ice House Point boat ramp. There are still open water fishing opportunities at the Fish House and the Inlet Bridge. There is open water and thin ice in the east basin and in the inlet bay. Yellow Perch - Fair: Anglers are catching some perch around Shotgun Hill and the Ice House Point boat ramp. Keeper size perch range from 8- to 12-inches. Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers have picked up some fish using minnows on a small jig.

Black Hawk Pits
There was 3 inches of ice, with some open areas and rotten ice right along shore, on Jan. 2. Ice fishing is not recommended until conditions improve.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Reports of 5-8 inches of ice on the East side, with more variable conditions elsewhere on the lake and open areas around the big island. Check ice thickness often if you venture out. Use extreme caution, may be some open areas and seams. Anglers report catching perch, walleye, and white bass.

Ice conditions are extremely variable in west central Iowa. Some lakes have open water areas and unsafe ice. Other lakes that are seeing angler activity have 3-8 inches of ice. Use extreme caution; check thickness often and avoid discolored ice. Foot traffic only is recommended in our district at this time. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.

Clear Lake
Ice thickness is 6 to 8 inches. Use caution near the rushes. Bluegill - Slow: Use a small jig tipped with a waxworm near the edge of vegetation. Yellow Perch - Good: Yellow perch are biting on a variety of baits. Use larger baits and change location to find bigger fish. Walleye - Fair: Try a jigging spoon tipped with a minnow head near the edge of vegetation. Black Crappie – Slow. Yellow Bass - Slow: You have to move around to find fish.

Crystal Lake
Ice thickness is 6 to 8 inches. No fishing activity reported.

Lake Cornelia
Ice thickness is 6 to 7 inches. Yellow Bass - Good: Lot of small fish are being caught.

Lake Smith
Ice thickness is 6 to 8 inches. Anglers are catching small bluegills and a few crappies. Use caution near the aeration hole southeast of the island.

Lower Pine Lake
Ice thickness is 3 to 4 inches. Poor ice condition along the shore is making access dangerous. Ice fishing is not recommended.

Rice Lake
Ice thickness is 6 to 8 inches. Bluegill – Slow. Yellow Perch – Slow.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Ice thickness is 6 to 8 inches.

Upper Pine Lake
Ice fishing is not recommended.

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
Walleye - Fair: Fish the southern basin. Try near Parks Marina. Evening bite is best. Bluegill – Fair.

Lake Pahoja
Bluegill – Good.

Lost Island Lake
Yellow Bass - Good: Some anglers are doing well when they find a school of fish. Yellow Perch – Fair: A few larger fish are being caught with some sorting.  

Scharnberg Pond
Rainbow Trout, stocked on Oct. 26, are still being caught. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Spirit Lake
Ice thickness is 7-10 inches. Avoid seams and points. Walleye - Good: Evening and morning bite is best. Use live minnows and jigging baits. Bluegill - Fair: Evening hours are best. Yellow Perch - Good: Best bite is early and late. Recent unsettled weather slowed the bite slightly, but it should pick back up.

Trumbull Lake
Yellow Perch - Slow: A few fish are being caught.

West Okoboji Lake
Use extreme caution on the main lake. Smaller bays have 5-6 inches of ice. Bluegill - Fair: Walleye - Fair: Evening hours are best.

Ice thickness is 5-10 inches on area lakes. Warmer weather has slowed ice formation, but the quality is generally good after recent rains. Some large seams and ridges have become evident; stay away from these areas. Use caution with ATV’s. No vehicle traffic is advised. Avoid inlets and bridges. Aeration systems at Center Lake, Silver Lake (near Lake Park), and Ingham Lake have been started and signs are put up. Stay clear of these systems. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.

 

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Backwaters and slack water areas are frozen, but may lose ice quickly depending on weather. Use care when crossing areas with current. Check depths often. Anglers are finding fish. Black Crappie - Fair: Find deeper water or off-channel refuges out of current. Use waxworms or spikes. Yellow Perch - Slow: Anglers are finding a few perch mixed in with the crappie.

Decorah District Streams
Stocked fish remain in streams through the winter creating excellent angling opportunities. Trout streams with good flows stay open even during winter. Check our 2020 Winter Community Trout Stocking Schedule to find out when trout may be coming to a community near you. Wear bright orange and be visible to hunters when fishing wildlife management areas. Brown Trout - Good: Try a fly imitating small silvery fish. Feathered spinner baits work well when fished through pools. Rainbow Trout - Good: Use an ultra-light pole and reel for fun action. Try a spinner in eddies and around structure. Brook Trout - Good: With fewer insect hatches, try using flies imitating minnows such as a wholly bugger.

Lake Hendricks
Lake Hendricks has about 4 inches of ice with water sitting on top. Ice is turning dark. Water has a brown tint to it. Open water around the aerator; be careful around this area. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the ice. Black Crappie - Good: Use a small jig tipped with a waxworm. Fish are suspended off the bottom. Bluegill - Good: Use a baited hook; gills are sitting closer to the bottom.

Lake Meyer
Lake Meyer has about 6-8 inches of ice. Water is sitting on top of the ice. Ice is turning dark. Use care when going on ice; check depths often. Hit or miss action on panfish. Bluegill - Fair: Use a small jig tipped with a waxworm around brush piles. Black Crappie - Fair: Crappie are suspended above brush piles. Baited hooks work best.

Turkey River (above Clermont)
Backwaters and slack water areas are ice covered. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on Vernon Springs impoundment when covered with ice. Water is crystal clear. Check ice depths often, especially where there is current.

Volga Lake
Ice on Volga Lake is melted around the edges. Ice fishing is not recommended. Warmer temperatures are melting surface ice, causing extra slippery conditions. Black Crappie - Fair: Use waxworms or spikes fished in brush or rock piles. Bluegill - Fair: Try small bait on small hooks. Gills are small.

Rain last weekend caused many rivers and streams to rise and get muddy. Trout streams cleared. High water levels and increased flows can cause ice conditions to deteriorate very quickly. Area lakes have about 3-5 inches of ice. Use care when around areas with current. Winter returns with temperatures in the low 30's for highs to low 20's for lows. For current fishing information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
River level is 9.1 feet at Lansing and is expected to fluctuate slightly this week. Ice is variable on backwaters due to warm weather and snow cover. Water temperature is 32 degrees. Walleye - Fair: A lot of smaller fish are being caught. Vertical jigging with twister tails or trolling crankbaits has been successful in Lock and Dams tailwaters. Sauger - Fair: Vertical jigging with twister tails or jig tipped with minnows has had the most success in Lock and Dams tailwaters. Yellow Perch - Fair: Fish for perch through the ice in deeper cuts with some vegetation in backwater areas. Black Crappie - Slow: Few reports of crappie mixed with bluegills fished through the ice. Bluegill - Good: Bluegill are biting on waxworms fished through the ice in backwater lakes. 

Mississippi River Pool 10
River level is 617.7 feet at Lynxville. Ice is variable on backwaters due to warm weather and snow cover. Water temperature is 34 degrees. Walleye - Fair: A lot of smaller fish are being caught. Vertical jigging with twister tails or trolling crankbaits has been successful in Lock and Dams tailwaters. Sauger - Fair: Try jigs tipped with a minnow in the tailwaters of the Lock & Dams. Yellow Perch - Fair: Fish for perch through the ice in deeper cuts with some vegetation in backwater areas. Black Crappie - Slow: Few reports of crappie mixed with bluegills fished through the ice. Bluegill - Good: Bluegill are biting on waxworms fished through the ice in backwater lakes. 

Mississippi River Pool 11
River level is 9.4 feet at Guttenberg and is expected to fluctuate this week. Ice fishing is not recommended due to warm weather and snow cover. Water temperature is 32 degrees. Walleye - Fair: A lot of smaller fish are being caught. Vertical jigging with twister tails or trolling crankbaits has been successful in Lock and Dams tailwaters. Sauger - Fair: Try jigs tipped with a minnow in the tailwaters of the Lock & Dams. Yellow Perch - Fair: Perch are biting in Sunfish and Mud Lake. Use caution and avoid the creek area at Mud Lake; ice is not safe. Fish in deeper cuts with some vegetation in backwater areas. Black Crappie - Slow: Few reports of crappie mixed with bluegills fished through the ice.

Upper Mississippi River levels have risen slightly and are fluctuating this week. Many of the roller gates are now down; this will help stabilize tailwater areas.Use caution if ice fishing due to warmer weather and snow cover making poor ice conditions. Areas of current do not have safe ice. Water temperature is 32 degrees

 

Mississippi River Pool 12
The water level is 9 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and 11.2 feet at the RR bridge. River levels at Dubuque are expected to rise. The water temperature is 34 degrees. Water clarity is good. Limited tailwater angling is happening. Sauger - Slow: Tailwater sauger fishing has most anglers using a jig and minnow. Lots of small sauger and small walleye are being reported. Some ice flows are occurring. Walleye - Fair: Most anglers are pulling crank baits in the tailwaters. Yellow Perch - Good: Yellow perch have shown up in the ice fishing creel. Bluegill - No Report: Most ice is in poor condition limiting ice fishing.

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water level is 10.3 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam. Water level will rise. The water temperature is 34 degrees. Water clarity is good. Tailwater fishing is taking place, but periodic ice flows are happening. Backwater ice is nearly non-existent. Sauger - Good: Most anglers are using a jig and minnow. Walleye - Good: Some walleyes are being reported by anglers pulling double Rapalas or a floating jig head with a minnow. Bluegill - No Report: Ice thickness is marginal at best for ice fishing.

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is 9.6 feet at the Fulton Lock and Dam, 12.5 feet at Camanche and 7.2 feet at LeClaire. Water temperature is around 34 degrees. River levels are expected to rise. Tailwater fishing is taking place, but no ice fishing is being reported; ice is unsafe. Walleye - Fair: Some walleyes are being taken on double Rapala rigs. Sauger - Good: Use a jig tipped with a minnow. A few nice sauger have been reported in the past few weeks.

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water level is around 10.5 feet at Rock Island and is expected to rise. The water temperature is around 34 degrees. Water clarity is good. 

Tailwaters are receiving high fishing pressure, but some ice flows are happening at times. Water is rising slightly. If you have any fishing questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.

Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities has risen close to 1.5 feet since last week to 10.49 feet. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 15. The Marquette St boat ramp is open. Unsafe ice conditions. Walleye - Fair: Look for walleyes in the tailwaters. Use jigs and minnows or troll three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits. Sauger - Fair: Look for saugers in the tailwaters. Try jigs and minnows or troll three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits. Mostly small saugers are being caught. 

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 9.64 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine. Tailwater stages have risen close to 1.5 feet since last Thursday. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 16. River stage is 11.49 feet at Muscatine; flood stage is 16 feet. Tailwater fishing for walleye and saugers has been slow. The gates are out of the water at the Lock and Dam. Unsafe ice conditions. Walleye - Slow: Look for walleyes by the dam. Try vertical jigging with minnows or pulling three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits. Sauger - Slow: Use jigs and minnows or pull three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits in the tailwaters. 

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 11.13 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston. Tailwater stage has risen close to 1.5 feet since last week. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 17. River stage is 11.45 feet at Keithsburg; flood stage is 14 feet. The gates are out of the water at the Lock and Dam. Unsafe ice conditions. Sauger - Slow: Look for saugers below the dam. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits. Walleye - Slow: Look for walleyes below the dam. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 7.84 feet at Lock and Dam 18. Tailwater stage has risen close to 1.5 feet since last week. Flood stage is 10 feet at Lock and Dam 18. River stage is 13.07 feet at Burlington; flood stage is 15 feet. River stage is 527.14 feet at Fort Madison; flood stage is 528 feet. We have not received any fishing report information for this pool. Unsafe ice conditions. 

Tailwater stages have risen close to 1.5 feet since last Thursday. Main channel water temperature is around 35 degrees. There has been some tailwater fishing this past week with the warm temperatures. Unsafe ice conditions. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

 

SOUTHEAST

Big Hollow Lake
Open water.

Lake Belva Deer
Mostly open water.

Lake Darling
A very warm weekend, hard rains, and strong winds left the lake ice free on Monday

Lake Darling District 
Most ponds are completely open; a few more protected one have some ice floating around on them. Unsafe ice.

Lost Grove Lake
Rain wrecked what ice was there. Unsafe ice.

Pollmiller Park Lake
Open water.

For more information on the above lake, call the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430.

Coralville Reservoir
The bays have some skim ice, but the main lake is ice free. The lake is at normal winter pool of 683.4 feet.

Lake Macbride
The lake is 90% ice free this week.

Most lakes/ponds are partially to mostly open water this week. Those that have remaining ice, are not safe for travel. For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.

Lake Miami
Skim ice is forming overnight when cold enough, making fishing difficult.

Lake Sugem
Skim ice is forming in some of the bays. Geese are keeping large areas open.

Lake Wapello
Skim ice is forming at night, making fishing difficult.

Ottumwa Park Pond South
Trout were stocked on Oct. 25th. The pond is covered in skim ice, making fishing difficult. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 904.45 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. Docks have been pulled out for the season and most campgrounds are closed. The bays and coves will start to be covered with skim ice, making fishing difficult.

Red Haw Lake
Skim ice is forming overnight, making fishing difficult.

There has been very little angler activity in the last week. There is no safe ice in the Rathbun district. The district includes Appanoose, Davis, Lucas, Mahaska, Monroe, Wapello, Wayne and Van Buren counties. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.

 

SOUTHWEST

Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
Ice fishing is not recommended until ice conditions improve. Rainbow Trout - Fair: When ice conditions improve, catch trout 5 to 20 yards off shore using panfish jigs and small jigging spoons tipped with waxworms. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.  

Big Creek Lake

Ice fishing is not recommended until ice conditions improve.

Don Williams Lake
Ice fishing is not recommended until ice conditions improve. Black Crappie - Good: Expect fair to good crappie fishing this winter with many 8.5- to 10-inch fish. Fish suspended fish over the stump covered ridge that extends out from the shoreline across from the boat ramp.

Lake Petocka
Ice fishing is not recommended until ice conditions improve. Rainbow Trout - Good: When ice conditions improve, catch trout with panfish jigs and small jigging spoons tipped with waxworms. Start by fishing close to shore in 3 to 5 feet of water. If no activity, keep moving slightly deeper until you find fish. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Ice fishing in Central Iowa is not recommended until conditions improve. For more information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, call Ben Dodd at 641-891-3795 or Andy Otting at 515-204-5885.

Lake Anita
Warm temperatures have deteriorated ice conditions at Lake Anita.

Littlefield Lake
Warm temperatures have deteriorated ice conditions at Littlefield Lake.

Prairie Rose Lake
Unsafe ice conditions.

Ice fishing is not recommended in southwest Iowa.

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NORTHWEST

Arrowhead Lake
Arrowhead Lake had 4 inches of ice at the boat ramp on Jan. 8. There has been little fishing activity. 

Bacon Creek Lake
The DNR will stock rainbow trout at Bacon Creek Lake at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 25th. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Use a piece of worm, small minnow, or power bait bite fished under a bobber. Put the bait on a small hook or small and shiny jig.

Black Hawk Lake
As of Jan. 8, there was 5-6 inches of ice off the Ice House Point boat ramp. This area of the lake has the thickest ice. There are open water fishing opportunities at the Fish House on Ice House Point. There is a large area of open water in the east basin and thin ice in the inlet bay. The winter aeration system in Town Bay will be started Jan 16; avoid this area as there will be open water and thin ice. Yellow Perch - Good: Anglers are catching perch around Gunshot Hill and the Ice House Point boat ramp. Keeper size perch range from 8- to 12-inches. The bite has been good, but sorting is needed. Most anglers are using waxworms. Bluegill - Fair: Anglers are picking up 6-9 inch bluegill using waxworms. Most anglers are fishing near the Ice House Point boat ramp and Gunshot Hill.

Black Hawk Pits
There was 3-4 inches of ice near the boat ramp on Jan. 8. Ice fishing is not recommended until conditions improve.

Moorland Pond
The DNR will stock rainbow trout in Moorland Pond at 11 a.m. Jan. 18th. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Use a piece of worm, small minnow, or power bait bite fished under a bobber. Put the bait on a small hook or small and shiny jig.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Reports of 6-8 inches of ice on the East side, with more variable conditions elsewhere on the lake and open areas around the big island and towards the outlet. Use caution and avoid open areas, seams, and discolored ice. Wear a float coat and have ice picks and rope with you. Anglers report catching perch, walleye, and white bass.

Ice thickness in west central Iowa is 3 to 8 inches. Some lakes have seams and open areas. Use caution, check thickness often, and avoid discolored ice. The winter aeration system in Town Bay of Black Hawk Lake will be started Jan 16; avoid this area as there will be open water and thin ice. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.

Beeds Lake
There are areas of open water near the boat ramp and the west end of the lake, as well as along shorelines in certain areas. With melting snow, there will be increased water coming in from Spring Creek and that creates a current through the lake which can to create variable ice conditions.

Clear Lake
Ice thickness is 6 to 8 inches. Use caution near the rushes. Bluegill - Slow: Use a small jig tipped with a waxworm near the edge of vegetation. Yellow Perch - Good: Yellow perch are biting on a variety of baits. Use larger baits and change location to find bigger fish. Walleye - Fair: Try a jigging spoon tipped with a minnow head near the edge of vegetation. Black Crappie – Slow. Yellow Bass - Slow: You have to move around to find fish.

Crystal Lake
Ice thickness is 6 to 8 inches. No fishing activity reported.

Lake Cornelia
Ice thickness is 6 to 7 inches. Yellow Bass - Good: Lot of small fish are being caught.

Lake Smith
Ice thickness is 6 to 8 inches. Anglers are catching small bluegills and a few crappies. Use caution near the aeration hole southeast of the island.

Lower Pine Lake
Ice thickness is 4 inches at the boat ramp. There are large areas of open water and some areas of dangerous ice along the shoreline. Ice fishing is not recommended.

Rice Lake
Ice thickness is 6 to 8 inches. Bluegill – Slow. Yellow Perch – Slow.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Ice thickness is 6 to 8 inches.

Upper Pine Lake
Ice fishing is not recommended.

For information on the lakes and rivers in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517. 

Center Lake
Ice thickness is 7.5-8.5 inches. The aeration system has been started. Use caution on the west side of the lake, north of the boat ramp. Signs have been put up around the aerator hole.

East Okoboji Lake
Ice thickness is 6 to 8 inches. Bluegill - Good: Sorting is needed, but the bite has been good in the southern section of the lake along the weed line. Try near the trestle and the Hattie Elston Boat Ramp. Use small jigs and wigglers. Walleye - Fair: Fishing near Parks Marina in the evening has been good. Use spoons, jigging raps, or minnows in the early morning or evening. Yellow Perch – Fair. Black Crappie – Good. Yellow Bass – Fair.

Ingham Lake
Ice thickness is 7.5-8.5 inches. The aeration system has been started. Use caution in the southeast side of the lake. Signs have been put up around the aerator hole.

Lost Island Lake
Yellow Perch – Fair. Walleye – Fair.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Ice thickness is 9-10 inches. The aeration system has been started. Use caution on the east side of the lake. Signs have been placed around the aeration holes.

Spirit Lake
Ice thickness is 9-10 inches. Reports that a vehicle caused a hole at the south boat ramp near the spillway; please avoid this area. Walleye - Good: Fish 1 hour before and after sunrise or sunset. Use spoons or jigging raps tipped with minnow heads n 12-14 feet of water. Also try live minnows. Reports of lots of slot size and bigger fish. Bluegill - Fair: Use wigglers and small jigs in Anglers Bay and Trickles Slough. Yellow Perch - Good: Use minnows and small jigs in Anglers Bay and near Minniwaukon. Best bite is early and late. Black Crappie – Fair.

Trumbull Lake
Yellow Perch - Fair: Size quality is outstanding with some sorting. Use jigs and minnows or wigglers in the main lake.

West Okoboji Lake
West Okoboji ice conditions are variable. Use extreme caution and check ice thickness and conditions regularly. Ice thickness has been up to 7 inches in small bays and thinner on the main lake. Bluegill - Good: Little Emerson Bay is producing a few nice bluegills. Sorting is needed. Walleye - Fair: Fish rocky areas in 18-20 feet of water. Live minnows work best an hour before and after sunset.

Ice thickness is 7.5-10 inches on area lakes. Warmer weather has slowed ice formation, but the quality is generally good. Some large seams and ridges have become evident; stay away from these areas. Use caution with ATV’s. No vehicle traffic is advised. Water flow into and out of the area lakes has caused weak areas around bridges and other constrictions. Aeration systems at Center Lake, Silver Lake (near Lake Park), and Ingham Lake have been started and signs are put up. Stay clear of these systems. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.

 

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Backwaters and slack water areas have about 4-6 inches of ice. Ice conditions may worsen with warmer temperatures. Use care when crossing areas with current. Check depths often. Anglers are finding fish. Black Crappie - Fair: Find deeper water or off-channel refuges out of current. Use waxworms or spikes. Yellow Perch - Slow: Anglers are finding a few perch mixed in with the crappie. Bluegill - Fair: Find deeper off-channel areas. Spikes or waxworms tipped on a small jig work well. Walleye - Fair: Anglers fishing below dams are finding walleye. Use jigs tipped with a ringworm minnow or crawler. 

Decorah District Streams
Stocked fish remain in streams through the winter creating excellent angling opportunities. Trout streams with good flows stay open even during winter. Check our 2020 Winter Community Trout Stocking Schedule to find out when trout may be coming to a community near you. Wear bright orange and be visible to hunters when fishing wildlife management areas. Brown Trout - Good: Try a fly imitating small silvery fish. Feathered spinner baits work well when fished through pools. Rainbow Trout - Good: Use an ultra-light pole and reel for fun action. Try a spinner in eddies and around structure. Brook Trout - Good: Midges and small mayflies are hatching on warmer sunny days. Use flies imitating insects hatching.

Lake Hendricks
Lake Hendricks has about 4-8 inches of ice. Fish activity has slowed. Open water around the aerator; be careful around this area. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the ice. Black Crappie - Fair: Use a small jig tipped with a waxworm. Fish are suspended off the bottom. Bluegill - Fair: Use a baited hook; gills are sitting closer to the bottom.

Lake Meyer
Lake Meyer has about 6-8 inches of ice. Use care when going on ice, especially around the dam. Check ice depths often. Hit or miss action on panfish. Fish are hanging in 10-14 feet of water around brush piles. Bluegill - Good: Activity has picked up. Find gills around brush piles using a small jig tipped with a waxworm. Black Crappie - Slow: Crappie are suspended above brush piles. Baited hooks work best.

Turkey River (above Clermont)
Backwaters and slack water areas are ice covered. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on Vernon Springs impoundment when covered with ice. Water is crystal clear. Check ice depths often, especially where there is current.

Volga Lake
Ice conditions are variable on Volga Lake depending on temperatures, but 4-6 inches is common. Use care when going on ice; check depths often. Black Crappie - Fair: Use waxworms or spikes fished in brush or rock piles. Bluegill - Fair: Try small bait on small hooks. Gills are small.

Brief warm-up Thursday with temperatures in the mid-40's dropping through the weekend to the low 20's for highs. Rain and snow possible through the weekend with little accumulation. Open water on most rivers in main channel with backwaters frozen. Use care when around areas with current. Area lakes have about 3-8 inches of ice. For current fishing information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Anglers are catching some walleye in the Cedar River, particularly between the Waverly and Cedar Falls section of the river. Walleye - Fair: Try a jig and plastic tipped with a minnow in deeper overwintering areas. Look for some depth and off-channel current breaks near eddies.

It's been a very unpredictable winter; ice fishing reports are few to none. Use extreme caution if ice fishing on lakes and ponds. Reports of anglers catching some walleye on the Cedar River this past week. Trout streams remain in excellent condition. Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
River level at Lansing has risen to 9.8 feet and is expected to remain high this week. Ice is variable on backwaters due to warm weather and snow cover. Water temperature is 32 degrees. Walleye - Fair: A lot of smaller fish are being caught. Vertical jigging with twister tails or trolling crankbaits has been successful in Lock and Dams tailwaters. Sauger - Fair: Vertical jigging with twister tails or jig tipped with minnows has had the most success in Lock and Dams tailwaters. Yellow Perch - Fair: Fish for perch through the ice in deeper cuts with some vegetation in backwater areas. Black Crappie - Slow: Few reports of crappie mixed with bluegills fished through the ice. Bluegill - Good: Bluegill are biting on waxworms fished through the ice in backwater lakes. 

Mississippi River Pool 10
River level at Lynxville has risen to 619.3 feet and is expected to drop slightly. Ice is variable on backwaters due to warm weather and snow cover. Water temperature is 34 degrees. Walleye - Fair: A lot of smaller fish are being caught. Vertical jigging with twister tails or trolling crankbaits has been successful in Lock and Dams tailwaters. Sauger - Fair: Try jigs tipped with a minnow in the tailwaters of the Lock & Dams. Yellow Perch - Fair: Fish for perch through the ice in deeper cuts with some vegetation in backwater areas. Black Crappie - Slow: Few reports of crappie mixed with bluegills fished through the ice. Bluegill - Good: Bluegill are biting on waxworms fished through the ice in backwater lakes. 

Mississippi River Pool 11
River level at Guttenberg has risen to 10.9 feet and is expected to remain high this week. Ice fishing is not recommended due to warm weather and snow cover. Water temperature is 32 degrees. Walleye - Fair: A lot of smaller fish are being caught. Vertical jigging with twister tails or trolling crankbaits has been successful in Lock and Dams tailwaters. Sauger - Fair: Try jigs tipped with a minnow in the tailwaters of the Lock & Dams. Yellow Perch - Fair: Perch are biting in Sunfish and Mud Lake. Use caution and avoid the creek area at Mud Lake; ice is not safe. Fish in deeper cuts with some vegetation in backwater areas. Black Crappie - Slow: Few reports of crappie mixed with bluegills fished through the ice.

Upper Mississippi River levels are high, but are expected to level off this week. Tailwater areas will be difficult to fish with Lock & Dam gates open and heavy ice flows. Use caution if ice fishing due to warmer weather and snow cover making poor ice conditions. Areas of current do not have safe ice. Water temperature is 32 degrees

 

Mississippi River Pool 12
The water level is 9.8 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and 12 feet at the RR bridge. River levels at Dubuque are expected to recede. The water temperature is 34 degrees. Water clarity is good. Major ice flows are occurring in the tailwater. Sauger - No Report: Anglers report lots of smaller sauger with a few nice sized fish mixed in. Tailwater ice flows are limiting angling. Bluegill - No Report: Ice fishing is not recommended.

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water level is 11 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam. Water level will recede. The water temperature is 33 degrees. Water clarity is good. The tailwaters are under heavy ice flows. Backwater ice fishing is not recommended. Sauger - No Report: Anglers report lots of smaller sauger with a few nice sized fish mixed in. Tailwater ice flows are now limiting angling. Bluegill - No Report: Ice fishing is not recommended due to thin ice.

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is 9.8 feet at the Fulton Lock and Dam, 13 feet at Camanche and 7.5 feet at LeClaire. Water temperature is around 33 degrees. River levels are expected to recede. Tailwaters are receiving heavy ice flows; backwater ice fishing is not recommended due to thin ice. Walleye - Fair: Some walleyes are being taken on double Rapala rigs. Sauger - Good: Use a jig tipped with a minnow. A few nice sauger have been reported in the past few weeks.

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water level is around 10.6 feet at Rock Island and is expected to recede. The water temperature is around 33 degrees. Water clarity is good. 

Ice flows are occurring in all tailwaters, limiting angling. Water is receding throughout the district. Backwater ice fishing is not yet recommended due to thin ice. If you have any fishing questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.

Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 10.85 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and is forecast to stay steady the next few days. Forecast may change with predicted rain and snow. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 15. The Marquette St boat ramp is open. Unsafe ice conditions. Walleye - Slow: Look for walleyes in the tailwaters. Use jigs and minnows or troll three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits. Sauger - Slow: Look for saugers in the tailwaters. Try jigs and minnows or troll three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits. Mostly small saugers are being caught. 

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 9.93 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is forecast to reach 10.2 feet by Friday. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 16. Reports of slow walleye and sauger fishing in the tailwaters. The gates are out of the water at the Lock and Dam. Unsafe ice conditions. Walleye - Slow: Look for walleyes by the dam. Try vertical jigging with minnows or pulling three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits. Sauger - Slow: Use jigs and minnows or pull three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits in the tailwaters. 

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 11.26 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and is forecast to reach 11.6 feet by Saturday. The river forecast may change with predicted rain and snow.  Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 17. The gates are out of the water at the Lock and Dam. Unsafe ice conditions. Sauger - Slow: Look for saugers below the dam. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits. Walleye - Slow: Look for walleyes below the dam. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 7.75 feet at Lock and Dam 18 and is forecast to stay fairly steady the next few days. Flood stage is 10 feet at Lock and Dam 18. River stage is 12.95 feet at Burlington; flood stage is 15 feet. River stage is 527.02 feet at Fort Madison; flood stage is 528 feet. We have not received any fishing report information for this pool. Unsafe ice conditions. 

Tailwater stages have been rising the past few days. Main channel water temperature is around 34 degrees. Tailwater fishing for walleye and saugers has been slow. Unsafe ice conditions. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

 

SOUTHEAST

Big Hollow Lake
Open water.

Lake Belva Deer
Mostly open water. A little thin ice is back in the protected bays.

Lake Darling
Some ice has formed at the upper ends of the lake; the rest is still wide open. Forecast rains and wind will take out what little ice there is.

Lake Darling District 
Ponds out in the open are ice free during most of the afternoons. What ice there is on ponds is very thin. Unsafe ice.

Lost Grove Lake
A mix of unsafe thin ice and some open water.

Pollmiller Park Lake
Open water.

For more information on the above lake, call the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430.

Coralville Reservoir
Most of the lake is covered with skim ice. The lake is at normal winter pool of 683.4 feet.

Lake Macbride
The lake is partially covered with skim ice.

Otter Creek Lake
The lake is covered with poor ice; unsafe for travel.

Pleasant Creek Lake
The lake is partially covered with skim or poor ice.

Union Grove Lake
The lake is mostly covered with poor ice.

Most lakes/ponds are partially to mostly covered with skim or poor ice. Ice fishing is unsafe in the Lake Macbride District. For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.

Lake Miami
Skim ice is forming overnight when cold enough, making fishing difficult.

Lake Sugem
Skim ice is forming in some of the bays. Geese are keeping large areas open.

Lake Wapello
Skim ice is forming at night, making fishing difficult.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 904.15 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. Docks have been pulled out for the season and most campgrounds are closed. The bays and coves will start to be covered with skim ice, making fishing difficult.

Red Haw Lake
Skim ice is forming overnight, making fishing difficult.

There has been very little angler activity in the last week. There is no safe ice in the Rathbun district; most lakes are completely open. The district includes Appanoose, Davis, Lucas, Mahaska, Monroe, Wapello, Wayne and Van Buren counties. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.

 

SOUTHWEST

Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
Ice fishing is not recommended until ice conditions improve. Rainbow Trout - Fair: When ice conditions improve, catch trout 5 to 20 yards off shore using panfish jigs and small jigging spoons tipped with waxworms. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.  

Big Creek Lake
Large portions of the lake were open water as of Jan. 9.

Don Williams Lake
Ice fishing is not recommended until ice conditions improve. Black Crappie - Good: Expect fair to good crappie fishing this winter with many 8.5- to 10-inch fish. Fish suspended fish over the stump covered ridge that extends out from the shoreline across from the boat ramp.

Lake Petocka
Ice fishing is not recommended until ice conditions improve. Rainbow Trout - Good: When ice conditions improve, catch trout with panfish jigs and small jigging spoons tipped with waxworms. Start by fishing close to shore in 3 to 5 feet of water. If no activity, keep moving slightly deeper until you find fish. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Ice fishing in Central Iowa is not recommended until conditions improve. For more information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, call Ben Dodd at 641-891-3795 or Andy Otting at 515-204-5885.

Lake Anita
Warm temperatures have deteriorated ice conditions at Lake Anita.

Littlefield Lake
Warm temperatures have deteriorated ice conditions at Littlefield Lake.

Prairie Rose Lake
Unsafe ice conditions.

Ice fishing is not recommended in southwest Iowa. More reports will become available if conditions improve. 

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NORTHWEST

Arrowhead Lake
Ice conditions are improving, but angling activity has been low due to unsafe ice. Check ice thickness often if you venture out.  Use waxworms and minnows near structure to target the larger bluegill and crappie this lake commonly produces.

Bacon Creek Lake
The DNR will stock rainbow trout at Bacon Creek Lake at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 25th. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Use a piece of worm, small minnow, or power bait fished under a bobber. Put the bait on a small hook or small and shiny jig.

Black Hawk Lake
There is 6-7 inches of ice off the Ice House Point boat ramp. This area of the lake has the thickest ice. There are open water fishing opportunities at the Fish House on Ice House Point. Most of the east basin was open last week and has recently frozen over with thin ice. The winter aeration system in Town Bay is in operation; expect open water and thin ice in Town Bay. Yellow Perch - Fair: Anglers are catching perch around Gunshot Hill and the Ice House Point boat ramp. Keeper size perch range from 8- to 12-inches. Waxworms and small minnows work well. Bluegill - Fair: Anglers are picking up 6-9 inch bluegill using waxworms. Most anglers are fishing near the Ice House Point boat ramp and Gunshot Hill.

Moorland Pond
The DNR will stock rainbow trout in Moorland Pond this Saturday, Jan. 18th at 11 a.m. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Use a piece of worm, small minnow, or power bait fished under a bobber. Put the bait on a small hook or small and shiny jig.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Ice thickness is variable.  Reports of 7-10 inches of ice in the northwest area; much of the southeast area of the lake was open and has recently frozen over so expect thin ice on some areas. Use caution and avoid open areas, seams, and discolored ice. Wear a float coat and have ice picks and rope with you. Anglers are catching perch, walleye, white bass and channel catfish.

Ice thickness in west central Iowa is 3 to 10 inches. Some lakes have open seams and thin areas that were open last week and have recently frozen over. Use caution, check thickness often, and avoid discolored ice. There is open water and thin ice in Town Bay of Black Hawk Lake from the aeration system.  For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.

Clear Lake
Ice thickness is 7 to 9 inches. Bluegill - Slow: Use a small jig tipped with a waxworm near the edge of vegetation. Yellow Perch - Good: Yellow perch are biting on a variety of baits. Use larger baits and change location to find bigger fish. Walleye - Fair: Try a jigging spoon tipped with a minnow head near the edge of vegetation. The best bite is during low light periods. Black Crappie – Slow: Use a jig tipped with a waxworm on the edge of vegetation. Yellow Bass - Slow: Try a small spoon tipped with cut bait or several spikes. You have to move around to find fish.

Crystal Lake
Ice thickness is 7 to 9 inches. No fishing activity reported.

Lake Cornelia
Ice thickness is 7 to 8 inches. Yellow Bass - Good: Lot of small fish are being caught.

Lower Pine Lake
Ice thickness is 6 inches at the boat ramp. There is still significant open water north and east of the island.  No fishing activity reported.    

Rice Lake
Ice thickness is 7 to 9 inches. Bluegill – Slow. Yellow Perch – Slow: Use small jigs tipped with a waxworm. Walleye – Slow. 

Silver Lake (Worth)
Ice thickness is 7 to 9 inches.

Upper Pine Lake
Ice thickness is 4 inches at the boat ramp. No fishing activity reported.

For information on the lakes and rivers in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517. 

Center Lake
Ice thickness is 9-13 inches. The aeration system has been started. Use caution on the west side of the lake, north of the boat ramp. Signs are up around the aerator hole.

East Okoboji Lake
Ice thickness is 9 to 12 inches. Bluegill - Good: Sorting is needed, but the bite has been good in the southern section of the lake along the weed line. Try near the trestle and the Hattie Elston Boat Ramp. Use small jigs and wigglers. Walleye - Fair: Fishing near Parks Marina in the evening has been good. Use spoons, jigging raps or minnows in the early morning or evening. Yellow Perch – Fair. Black Crappie – Good. Yellow Bass – Fair.

Ingham Lake
Ice thickness is 7-13 inches. The aeration system has been started. Use caution in the southeast side of the lake and off of the northern boat ramp. Signs are up around the aerator hole.

Lost Island Lake
Ice thickness is around 12 inches. Yellow Perch – Fair. Walleye – Fair.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Ice thickness is 13 inches. The aeration system has been started. Use caution on the east side of the lake. Signs are up around the aeration holes.

Spirit Lake
Ice thickness is 13-15 inches. Walleye - Good: Fish 1 hour before and after sunrise or sunset. Use spoons or jigging raps tipped with minnow heads in 12-14 feet of water. Also try live minnows. Reports of lots of slot size and bigger fish. Bluegill - Fair: Use wigglers and small jigs in Anglers Bay and Trickles Slough. Yellow Perch - Good: Use minnows and small jigs in Anglers Bay and near Minniwaukon. Best bite is early and late. Black Crappie – Fair.

Trumbull Lake
Yellow Perch - Fair: Size quality is outstanding with some sorting. Use jigs and minnows or wigglers in the main lake.

West Okoboji Lake
West Okoboji ice conditions are variable. Beware of heaves at Atwell and Gull Point; don't drive over heaves/seams. Ice thickness has been up to 12 inches in small bays and thinner on the main lake. Bluegill - Good: Little Emerson Bay is producing a few nice bluegills. Sorting is needed. Walleye - Fair: Fish rocky areas in 18-20 feet of water. Live minnows work best an hour before and after sunset.

Ice thickness is 7.5-13 inches on area lakes. Ice conditions have improved with recent low temperatures. Some large seams and ridges have become evident; stay away from these areas. Use caution with ATV’s. No vehicle traffic is advised. Water flow into and out of the area lakes has caused weak areas around bridges and other constrictions. Aeration systems at Center Lake, Silver Lake (near Lake Park), and Ingham Lake have been started and signs are up. Stay clear of these systems. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.

 

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
Backwaters and slack water areas have about 4-6 inches of ice. Four to 5 inches of snow fell early in the week with more predicted for the weekend. Ice conditions may worsen with warmer temperatures. Use care when crossing areas with current. Check depths often. Anglers are finding fish. Black Crappie - Fair: Find deeper water or off-channel refuges out of current. Use waxworms or spikes. Yellow Perch - Slow: Anglers are finding a few perch mixed in with the crappie. Bluegill - Fair: Find deeper off-channel areas. Spikes or waxworms tipped on a small jig work well. Walleye - Fair: Anglers fishing below dams are finding walleye. Use jigs tipped with a ringworm minnow or crawler. 

Decorah District Streams
Parking areas in wildlife management areas are not plowed. Use care when parking on the roadside. Trout streams with good flows stay open even during winter. Check our 2020 Winter Community Trout Stocking Schedule to find out when trout may be coming to a community near you. Brown Trout - Good: Try a fly imitating small silvery fish. Feathered spinner baits work well when fished through pools. Rainbow Trout - Good: Fish are actively hitting the surface early afternoon. Use an ultra-light pole and reel for fun action. Try a spinner in eddies and around structure. Brook Trout - Good: Midges and small mayflies are hatching on warmer sunny days. Use flies imitating insects hatching.

Lake Hendricks
Lake Hendricks has about 4-8 inches of ice. Four to 5 inches of snow fell early in the week, with more to come this weekend. Fish activity has slowed. Open water around the aerator; be careful around this area. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the ice. Black Crappie - Fair: Use a small jig tipped with a waxworm. Fish are suspended off the bottom. A variety of sizes are being caught. Bluegill - Fair: Use a baited hook; gills are sitting closer to the bottom. Nine to 11 inch fish common. 

Lake Meyer
Lake Meyer has about 6-8 inches of ice. Three to 4 inches of snow fell early in the week, with more to come this weekend. Use care when going on ice, especially around the dam. Check ice depths often. Hit or miss action on panfish. Fish are hanging in 10-14 feet of water around brush piles. Bluegill - Fair: Anglers are marking a lot of fish, but few bites. Find gills around brush piles using a small jig tipped with a waxworm. Black Crappie - Slow: Crappie are suspended above brush piles. Baited hooks work best.

Turkey River (above Clermont)
Backwaters and slack water areas are ice covered. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on Vernon Springs impoundment when covered with ice. Water is crystal clear. Check ice depths often, especially where there is current.

Volga Lake
Ice conditions are variable on Volga Lake depending on temperatures, but 4-6 inches is common. Three to 5 inches of snow fell in the area, with more to come this weekend. Use care when going on ice; check ice depths often. Black Crappie - Fair: Use waxworms or spikes fished in brush or rock piles. Bluegill - Fair: Try small bait on small hooks. Gills are small.

Winter is here. Snow is possible through the weekend with variable amounts. Area lakes have about 3-8 inches of ice. Open water on most rivers in main channel with backwaters frozen. Use care when around areas with current. For current fishing information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
A few reports of anglers ice fishing on Casey Lake. Best ice conditions on the lake are near the dam area. Bluegill - Fair: Find sunken fish structure near the dam. Use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm just off of the bottom; electronics are a bonus to find fish. Black Crappie - Fair: Find sunken fish structure near the dam. Try an ice jig tipped with a waxworm just off of the bottom or use electronics to find suspended fish, which often are crappie. Also try a dead stick rig tipped with a live minnow.

George Wyth Lake
There has been ice fishing activity on the lake. Reports of 4 to 6 inches of good ice cover. Use extreme caution, especially with the snow cover and upcoming winter storm. Bluegill - Fair: Find sunken fish structure; use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm just off of the bottom. Black Crappie - Fair: Find sunken fish structure. Try an ice jig tipped with a waxworm just off of the bottom or use electronics to find suspended fish, which often are crappie. Also try a dead stick rig tipped with a live minnow.

North Prairie Lake
Anglers are catching a few trout. Rainbow Trout - Fair: Try fishing jigs tipped with a waxworm or vertically jigging shiny spoons.

There are no reports on the interior rivers; they are currently freezing over. Ice conditions should vastly improve over the next week with the freezing cold temperatures.  Use extreme caution on lakes and ponds, especially with the snow cover. Trout streams remain in excellent condition. Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Mississippi River Pool 9
River level is 9.8 feet at Lansing and is expected to remain stable near this level. Ice is around 6 inches in protected areas. Predicted cold weather should strengthen ice, but heavy snow could insulate areas; use caution near shorelines and areas with current. Yellow Perch - Fair: Reports of nice-sized perch from Pool 9 backwaters. Black Crappie - Slow: Few reports of crappie mixed with bluegills fished through the ice. Bluegill - Good: Bluegill are biting on waxworms fished through the ice in backwater lakes. 

Mississippi River Pool 10
River level is 17.2 feet at Lynxville and is expected to remain stable near this level. Ice is around 6 inches in protected areas. Predicted cold weather should strengthen ice, but heavy snow could insulate areas; use caution near shorelines and areas with current.  Walleye - Fair: A lot of smaller fish are being caught. Vertical jigging with twister tails or trolling crankbaits has been successful in Lock and Dams tailwaters. Sauger - Fair: Try jigs tipped with a minnow in the tailwaters of the Lock & Dams. Yellow Perch - Fair: Reports of nice-sized perch from Pool 10 backwaters. Black Crappie - Slow: Few reports of crappie mixed with bluegills fished through the ice. Bluegill - Good: Bluegill are biting on waxworms fished through the ice in backwater lakes. 

Mississippi River Pool 11
River level is 9.8 feet at Guttenberg and is expected to remain stable near this level. The DNR ramp has iced in and the city ramp may be iced in this weekend. Ice is around 6 inches in protected areas. Predicted cold weather should strengthen ice, but heavy snow could insulate areas; use caution near shorelines and areas with current. Walleye - Fair: A lot of smaller fish are being caught. Vertical jigging with twister tails or trolling crankbaits has been successful in Lock and Dams tailwaters. Sauger - Fair: Try jigs tipped with a minnow in the tailwaters of the Lock & Dams. Yellow Perch - Fair: Perch are biting in Sunfish and Mud Lake. Use caution and avoid the creek area at Mud Lake; ice is not safe. Fish in deeper cuts with some vegetation in backwater areas. Black Crappie - Slow: Few reports of crappie mixed with bluegills fished through the ice.

Water levels have fallen and started to stabilize. Gates are back down at the Lock and Dams, but with expected snow and cold weather ramps may become frozen in soon. Protected backwaters areas have around 6 inches of ice, but thickness can vary and many areas may have unsafe ice. Predicted cold weather should strengthen ice, but heavy snow could insulate areas of thin ice; use caution near shorelines and areas with current.

 

Mississippi River Pool 12
The water level is 8 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and 10.3 feet at the RR bridge. River levels at Dubuque are expected to hold steady. The water temperature is 33 degrees. Water clarity is good. Major ice flows are occurring in the tailwater; the tailwater may lock in tight. Sauger - No Report: Anglers report lots of smaller sauger with a few nice-sized fish mixed in. Tailwater ice flows are limiting angling. Bluegill - No Report: Conditions are improving; use caution.

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water level is 9 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam and is predicted to hold steady. The water temperature is 33 degrees. Water clarity is good. The tailwaters are under heavy ice flows and may lock in this week. Backwater ice fishing is improving; use caution. Sauger - No Report: Anglers report lots of smaller sauger with a few nice-sized fish mixed in. Tailwater ice flows are are limiting angling. Bluegill - No Report: Ice fishing conditions are improving; use caution

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is 7.6 feet at the Fulton Lock and Dam, 11.7 feet at Camanche and 6.1 feet at LeClaire. Water temperature is around 33 degrees. River levels are expected to hold steady. Tailwaters are receiving heavy ice flows; backwater ice conditions are unsafe. Walleye - No Report: Some walleyes are being taken on double Rapala rigs. Sauger - No Report: Use a jig tipped with a minnow. A few nice sauger have been reported in the past few weeks. Bluegill - No Report: Backwater ice fishing conditions are marginal, but may improve with the expected cold snap; use caution. 

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water level is around 8.5 feet at Rock Island and is expected to hold steady. The water temperature is around 33 degrees. Water clarity is good. 

Ice flows are occurring in all tailwaters, limiting angling. Some anglers were out this past week. Water level is receding throughout the district and should hold steady. Backwater ice fishing conditions are improving; use caution. If you have any fishing questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.

Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 9.44 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and has been falling. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 15. The Marquette St boat ramp is frozen in. Unsafe ice conditions. 

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 8.52 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and has been falling. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 16. As of Jan. 15th, the ramp at Muscatine was free of ice and the dock was still in. Ramp conditions may change with colder temperatures and snow in the forecast. The gates are back in at the Lock and Dam. Unsafe ice conditions. Walleye - No Report: Look for walleyes by the dam. Try vertical jigging with minnows or pulling three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits. Sauger - No Report: Use jigs and minnows or pull three-way rigs with minnows or stick baits in the tailwaters. 

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 9.85 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and is falling. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 17. The gates are out of the water at the Lock and Dam. We have not received any tailwater fishing report information this week. Unsafe ice conditions. 

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 6.88 feet at Lock and Dam 18 and is falling. Flood stage is 10 feet at Lock and Dam 18. River stage is 12.14 feet at Burlington; flood stage is 15 feet. River stage is 526.73 feet at Fort Madison; flood stage is 528 feet. We have not received any fishing report information for this pool. Unsafe ice conditions. 

Tailwater stages have been falling the past few days. Main channel water temperature is around 34 degrees. Tailwater fishing for walleye and saugers has been slow. Unsafe ice conditions. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

 

SOUTHEAST

Big Hollow Lake
Was completely ice free on Jan. 14; some ice is forming around the edges and in the quiet areas.

Lake Belva Deer
Was nearly ice free earlier in the week. Still large areas of open water.

Lake Darling
This morning, Jan. 16, there was still large areas of open water from one end of the lake to the other.

Lake Darling District Farm Ponds
Most ponds have frozen back over this week, but are still too thin to walk on. Unsafe ice.

Lost Grove Lake
Just getting back to freezing over. Unsafe ice.

Pollmiller Park Lake
Open water.

For more information on the above lake, call the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430.

Coralville Reservoir
Most of the lake is covered with skim ice. The lake is at normal winter pool of 683.4 feet.

Lake Macbride
The lake is mostly covered with skim ice; unsafe ice.

Otter Creek Lake
The lake is covered with poor ice; unsafe ice.

Pleasant Creek Lake
The lake is partially covered in skim ice; unsafe ice.

Union Grove Lake
The lake is mostly covered with poor ice.

Most lakes/ponds are mostly to completely covered with skim or poor ice. Ice fishing is unsafe in the Lake Macbride District. Upcoming snow may hide or insulate ice, making ice conditions hard to see and slow to improve. For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.

Lake Miami
Skim ice has formed recently; the ice is not thick enough to support anglers.

Lake Sugem
Skim ice is forming in some of the bays. Geese are keeping large areas open.

Lake Wapello
Ice has recently formed; the ice is not thick enough to support anglers.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 904.24 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. Docks have been pulled out for the season and most campgrounds are closed. The bays and coves have started to ice up, but it is not thick enough to support anglers. The main lake area is still open water. 

Red Haw Lake
Ice has started to form with the recent cold weather, but it is not thick enough to support anglers.

There is no safe ice in the Rathbun district; most lakes have skimmed over recently. The district includes Appanoose, Davis, Lucas, Mahaska, Monroe, Wapello, Wayne and Van Buren counties. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.

 

SOUTHWEST

Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
Rainbow Trout - Fair: Catch trout 5 to 20 yards off shore using panfish jigs and small jigging spoons tipped with waxworms. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.  

Big Creek Lake
There was a small area of open water mid-lake as of Jan. 16. The large area that was open last week is averaging 3 inches. Ice in the coves and the north end averaged 8 inches. 

Don Williams Lake
Black Crappie - Good: Catch 8.5 to 10 inch crappies using glow jigs with waxworms or minnows.  The better bite has been after sunset.  Fish suspended fish over the stump covered ridge that extends out from the shoreline across from the boat ramp.

Hickory Grove Lake
Hickory Grove was pumped dry in the fall to renovate the fishery.  No fishing is available until after the lake is restocked.

Lake Petocka
The next stocking is scheduled for Jan. 25; dependent on safe ice conditions. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout - Fair: Use panfish jigs and small jigging spoons tipped with waxworms. Start by fishing close to shore in 3 to 5 feet of water. If no activity, keep moving slightly deeper until you find fish.

Ice fishing conditions in Central Iowa continue to improve. Use caution; some larger bodies of water had thin ice and open water as of Jan. 12. For more information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, call Ben Dodd at 641-891-3795 or Andy Otting at 515-204-5885.

Lake Anita
Lake Anita is holding a large number of geese, keeping the north arm of the lake unsafe or open. There was 4 inches of ice in the upper end of the pontoon arm on Jan. 15th.  Bluegill - Fair: A couple anglers caught fish directly south of the fish cleaning station.

Littlefield Lake
Unsafe ice conditions on Jan. 15th. Anglers should be able to fish Littlefield by next week.

Prairie Rose Lake
Prairie Rose is holding a large number of geese keeping ice condition unsafe around the beach area. Conditions should improve; use caution if venturing out.

Ice conditions are improving in the southwest district. Use extreme caution; most district lakes had thin ice or open water in the middle of last week.

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