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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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IOWA FISHING REPORTS

NORTHWEST

Arrowhead Lake
There was 6 inches of clear ice under 3 inches of cloudy ice off the boat ramp on Jan 23. Conditions are variable; 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 was 11 inches of ice off the Ice House Point boat ramp on Jan 23. This area of the lake currently has the thickest ice. There was 9 inches of ice off the 30 Acres boat ramp at the state campground on the SE part of the lake. Conditions are more variable in the east basin of the lake, there may be thin and open areas; use caution. Snow cover varies from 0 to 15 inches. 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 are 8 to 12 inches. Waxworms and small minnows work well. Bluegill - Slow: Most anglers are using waxworms fished near the Ice House Point boat ramp and Gunshot Hill using waxworms.

Black Hawk Pits
There was 5 inches of ice off the boat ramp on Jan 23. Conditions are variable; use caution and check ice thickness often. There are several inches of water and slush on top of the ice.

Brushy Creek Lake
Most fishing activity has been in the northeast arm and around the island. Ice is variable; check ice thickness often. There are open areas in the middle of the lake and around shore near inflows. Expect thinner ice under bridges and anywhere with current. Yellow Perch - Fair: Use waxworms and small minnows. Walleye – Fair. Bluegill - Fair: Use a waxworm or small minnow on a jig fished near structure. Reports of 9 inch keepers.

Moorland Pond
The DNR will stock rainbow trout in Moorland Pond this Saturday, Jan. 24th at noon. 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 from about 6-15 inches, with thinner ice on the east part of the lake and other areas that were open two weeks ago. Use caution and avoid open areas, seams, and discolored ice. Snow cover is variable; bare ice in some areas and 2-3 feet deep drifts in others. Anglers are catching perch, walleye, white bass and channel catfish.

Ice thickness in west central Iowa is 5 to 15 inches. Some lakes have open seams and thinner areas that were open two weeks ago. 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 10 to 12 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 - Fair: Try a small spoon tipped with cut bait or several waxworms. You have to move around to find fish. White Bass – Slow.

Crystal Lake
Ice thickness is 9 to 11 inches. No fishing activity reported.

Lower Pine Lake
Ice thickness is 10 -11 inches at the boat ramp. Use caution north and east of the island; this ice is new and may not be consistent.  

Rice Lake
Ice thickness is 10 to 12 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with a waxworm. Best bite is late afternoon. Yellow Perch – Slow:Try a small jigging spoon tipped with a waxworm.. Walleye – Slow. 

Silver Lake (Worth)
Ice thickness is 10 to 12 inches. Bluegill – Slow. 

Upper Pine Lake
Ice thickness is 7- 8 inches at the boat ramp.

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

Center Lake
Ice thickness is 12 to 14 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 12 to 14 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  has been good near Parks Marina in the evening. 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 10 to 14 inches. The aeration system has been started. Use caution on 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 15 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 1 hour before and after sunset.

Ice thickness is 10 to 18 inches on area lakes. Large amounts of snow in the recent week have covered up seams and ridges making them less evident. Talk with locals or bait shops to get the latest information before heading out on the ice. Do not travel under bridges and other areas of flow; most of these areas have only recently frozen over. It is Winter Games weekend in the Iowa Great Lakes, so expect lots of people out on the ice. 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 8 to 10 inches of ice with 10 inches snow. 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
Trout streams received 8 to 10 inches of snow. 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. Brook Trout - Good: Midges and small mayflies are hatching on warmer sunny days. Use flies imitating insects hatching. 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. 

Lake Hendricks
Lake Hendricks has about 10 inches of ice with 8 to 10 inches of snow on top. 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 are common. 

Lake Meyer
Lake Meyer has 10 to 12 inches of ice with 8 to 10 inches of snow on top. Use care when going on ice, especially around the dam. Check ice depths often. Hit or miss panfish action. Fish are hanging in 10 to 12 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 fished near the bottom. Black Crappie - Slow: Crappie are suspended above brush piles. Baited hooks work best.

Turkey River (above Clermont)
Backwaters and slack water areas are ice and snow 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
Eight to 9 inches ice with 10 inches of snow on top. 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.

Three to 5 inches snow fell Thursday with more possible. Use care on area rivers. Ice thickness varies on waterbodies with current. Area lakes have about 10 inches of ice with snow. 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. 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.

Plainfield
Anglers report only fair catches of panfish on Plainfield Lake this past week. Bluegill - Fair: Find sunken fish structure. 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. 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.

There have been no reports on the interior rivers as they are mostly frozen over. Ice conditions have improved on some areas with the freezing cold temperatures last week. 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 9.9 feet at Lansing and is expected to remain stable near this level. Ice is around 6 to 10 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 18.6 feet at Lynxville and is expected to remain stable near this level. Ice is around 6 to 10 inches in protected areas. Predicted cold weather should strengthen ice, but heavy snow could insulate areas; use caution near shorelines and areas with current. Ice on Johnson Slough at Sny Magil is still not safe with thickness varying to less than 2 inches. 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 10.2 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 are fluctuating this week up to a foot higher. Gates are back down at the Lock and Dams. Colder weather will 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 8.5 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and 11.1 feet at the RR bridge. River levels at Dubuque are expected to rise. The water temperature is 32.5 degrees. Water clarity is good. The tailwater is fairly free of flowing ice, but boat ramps are iced in. Sauger - No Report: Anglers report lots of smaller sauger with a few nice-sized fish mixed in. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are abundant, but not very aggressive. Use light equipment, small jigs and rod tips to detect small hits. Lots of sorting needed, but you can find some nice-sized gills. Black Crappie - Fair: A few incidental crappies are being caught when ice fishing for bluegills.

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water level is 10.1 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam and is rising. The water temperature is 32.5 degrees. Water clarity is good. The tailwaters are ice free, but the Bellevue City ramp has ice chunks floating around the ramp. Backwater ice fishing is improving; use caution. The popular ice fishing parking lot at Spring Lake in Illinois is closed this winter due to construction.  Sauger - No Report: Anglers report lots of smaller sauger with a few nice-sized fish mixed in. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are abundant, but not very aggressive. Use light equipment, small jigs and rod tips to detect small hits. Lots of sorting needed, but you can find some nice-sized gills. Yellow Perch - Fair: Anglers are catching a yellow perch or two when fishing for bluegill. Some anglers targeted good numbers of yellow perch in early ice, but now are only catching a few each trip. Black Crappie - Fair: A few incidental crappies are being caught when ice fishing for bluegills.

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is 6.9 feet at the Fulton Lock and Dam, 10.8 feet at Camanche and 5.6 feet at LeClaire. Water temperature is around 32.5 degrees. River levels are expected to hold steady. The tailwater has been ice free, but finding a boat open boat ramp may be difficult. Sauger - No Report: Early winter catches were decent with lots of smaller sauger reported along with some real nice walleye and sauger taken. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are abundant, but not very aggressive. Use light equipment, small jigs and rod tips to detect small hits. Lots of sorting needed, but you can find some nice-sized gills.  Black Crappie - Fair: A few incidental crappies are being caught when ice fishing for bluegills.

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

Tailwater ice flows were limited this week but it will take some work to launch in icy tailwater ramps. Water levels are rising throughout the district. Backwater ice fishing conditions are improving; use caution, especially in snow covered sloughs. Reported backwater ice depths range from 2 to 7 inches. If you have any fishing questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.

Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 13.03 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and has been rising. Tailwater stage has risen close to 5 feet since last weekend. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 15. The Marquette St boat ramp is frozen in. We have not received any ice condition or ice fishing reports for this pool. Tailwater stages have been fluctuating this past week which could create unsafe ice conditions, especially along the shorelines. 

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 7.14 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and has risen close to 2 feet since last weekend. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 16. The ramps at Muscatine are snow covered and frozen in. We have not received any ice condition or ice fishing reports for this pool. River levels have been fluctuating which may create some unsafe ice conditions, especially along the shorelines. 

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 8.40 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and has been rising the past few days. Tailwater stages have risen close to 2 feet since last weekend. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 17. We have not received any tailwater fishing report information this week. The Toolsboro ramp is iced in. We have not received any ice fishing or ice condition reports for this pool this week.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 6.47 feet at Lock and Dam 18 and has risen close to 2 feet since last weekend. Flood stage is 10 feet at Lock and Dam 18. River stage is 12.21 feet at Burlington; flood stage is 15 feet. River stage is 526.42 feet at Fort Madison; flood stage is 528 feet. We have not received any fishing report information for this pool. 

Tailwater stages have been rising the past few days. Main channel water temperature is around 32 degrees. We have not received any ice condition reports for our Pools. River levels have been fluctuating the past few days which could create for unsafe ice conditions, especially along the shorelines. 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
Unsafe ice. The lake was nearly ice free last week and has been slow to make ice this week.

Lake Darling
Unsafe ice. The lake didn't freeze over until Monday. The weather just hasn't been good to making ice; temperature was just below freezing last night.

Lake Darling District Farm Ponds
Ice fishing is not recommended. Some ponds are probably thick enough, especially if they were out of the wind last week. Use extreme caution and drill lots of test hole. 

Lost Grove Lake
Ice fishing is not recommended. Some ice is thick enough, but snow is hiding a lot of thin areas.

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

Cedar River (La Porte City to Cedar Rapids)
The backwaters in Benton County have about 7 inches of ice. Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie – Slow. Largemouth Bass – Slow.

Central Park Lake
Ice thickness 8 inches. Bluegill - Fair: Most fish are around 5 inches. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Most fish are around 11 inches.

Central Park Pond
Ice thickness is 6 to 7 inches.

Coralville Reservoir
The lake is froze over, but the channel has poor ice; travel is not recommended. The protected areas out of the current and wind have 4 to 6 inches of ice. The lake is at normal winter pool of 683.4 feet.

Diamond Lake
The last of the lake froze up on Jan. 20. Ice thickness is 2 to 6 inches; use extreme caution. The ice fishing derby scheduled for this Saturday, Jan. 25 has been cancelled due to poor ice conditions.

Green Castle Lake
No ice or fishing reports are available. Anglers have been on the ice.

Hannen Lake
Ice thickness is 5 to 6 inches.

Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
Ice is 9 inches at the boat ramp; out farther is 7 inches. The east end of the lake may have less ice; check ice conditions as you go.

Lake Macbride
The access areas have 6 to 7 inches of ice; much of the lake has 5 to 6 inches. There are areas of deeper water that froze up late that may have poor ice. Use caution and check often if you stray from the usual areas. Bluegill – Slow. Black Crappie – Slow.

Otter Creek Lake
Anglers have been out on the ice, but thickness is unknown.

Pleasant Creek Lake
The west end of the lake has 5 to 6 inches of ice; avoid the main lake, it has poor ice. Off the main ramp, the ice goes from 5 to 6 inches of ice to 1 to 2 inches very quickly. Bluegill - Fair: Some fish are being caught at the west end of the lake.

Rodgers Park Lake
Ice thickness is 5 to 6 inches.

Sand Lake
No ice or fishing reports are available. Anglers have been on the ice.

Union Grove Lake
The lake is ice covered, but ice thickness is unknown. A couple ice angles have been out; check ice conditions before you venture out.

Some lakes have safe ice, while others are extremely variable. Always check ice thickness and use caution when venturing out. For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.

Lake Miami
The lake iced up last weekend. Use caution if venturing out.

Lake Sugem
Ice formed last weekend, but the ice is variable in thickness. Use caution if venturing out. Be aware of areas that geese have been keeping open.

Lake Wapello
The lake iced up last weekend; use caution if venturing out. There is thin ice or open water out in front of the lodge area due to geese keeping the water open.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 904.32 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 ice is variable on the lake; use caution if venturing out. The bays and coves should have thicker ice than the main lake area.

Red Haw Lake
Ice formed last weekend. Use caution; the ice thickness is variable.

Ice thickness is variable; use caution. Most lakes froze up last weekend. 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
Avoid the south half of the north pit due to thin ice. There is an average of 6 inches of ice along the north shore by the parking lot. 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
The large area that was open water a couple weeks ago is averaging 6 inches of ice. Ice is 10 to 12 inches in the coves and the north end.

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 trout stocking and family fishing event this Saturday, Jan. 25 has been canceled due to unsafe ice conditions for a concentrated crowd. The trout will be stocked sometime next week. There is 5 to 8 inches of adequate ice for anglers. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout - Good: Use panfish jigs and small jigging spoons tipped with waxworms. The best bite for previously stocked trout has been fishing suspended fish out deeper.  

Ice fishing conditions in Central Iowa are fair to good. Use caution on larger lakes that have some areas of thin ice. 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)
On Jan. 24th, 1000 rainbow trout will be stocked into Big Lake. A kids event is not planned. The lake has 6 inches of ice. Rainbow Trout - Good: Any type of small spinner or minnow under a bobber will catch rainbow trout.

Lake Anita
The open water created by the geese has shrunk to a small area. Use caution north of the beach. Anglers report 5 to 7 inches of ice on most of the lake. Bluegill - Fair: A few bluegills are being caught south of the campground. Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers report early and late in the day is best for 9 inch black crappies.

Lake Manawa
Ice is variable. Some activity is taking place around the dredge cuts. Black Crappie - Slow: A few reports of fair crappie fishing in the dredge cuts late in the afternoon.

Littlefield Lake
Littlefield has a consistent 8 inches of ice. Bluegill - Fair: Anglers are finding bluegills in the cedar tree piles. Sorting is needed for larger fish.

Orient Lake
Fall fisheries surveys showed good numbers of crappies and bluegills in Orient. No reports are available at this time. Black Crappie - No Report: Black crappies will average 9 inches. Bluegill - No Report: Bluegills will average 8 inches.

Prairie Rose Lake
Ice conditions have improved. Most of the fishing activity is taking place east of the beach on the north side of the lake. Bluegill - Slow: The fishing should improve with a more stable weather pattern. A few large bluegills are being picked up east of the beach around the rock piles.

Ice conditions are fair in southwest Iowa with reports ranging from 4 to 9 inches. For more information call the SW District Office at 712-769-2587.

Lake Icaria
Variable ice conditions up to 6 inches. Areas of open water near the dam. Black Crappie - Fair: Catch crappies up to 10 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm or minnow fished along cedar tree brush piles. Walleye - Slow: Try jigs tipped with a minnow fished along the roadbed for walleye of all sizes.

Little River Watershed Lake
Large areas of open water along the campground and main ramp areas.

Summit Lake
Ice thickness is variable from 3 to 5 inches. Bluegill - Fair: Catch bluegill of all sizes up to 8.5 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished near cedar tree brush piles.

Three Mile Lake
Variable ice thickness up to 6 inches. Limited ice fishing activity observed this week.

Ice conditions for the Mount Ayr district lakes is variable, ranging from 3 to 6 inches. Check ice thickness often when venturing out. Geese are keeping some areas of open water at some district lakes. For more information, contact the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.

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IOWA FISHING REPORTS

NORTHWEST

Arrowhead Lake
Conditions are variable; 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 stocked rainbow trout at Bacon Creek Lake 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
Areas around Ice House Point boat ramp and just north of Gunshot Hill currently has the thickest ice. Conditions are more variable in the east basin of the lake, there may be thin and open areas; use caution. 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 are 8 to 12 inches. Waxworms and small minnows work well. Bluegill - Slow: Most anglers are using waxworms fished near the Ice House Point boat ramp and Gunshot Hill. Channel Catfish - Fair: Anglers have picked up catfish off the rock pile north of Cottonwood Point. Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers have had luck in the marina and off the rock pile near Gunshot Hill.

Black Hawk Pits
Conditions are variable; use caution and check ice thickness often. 

Brushy Creek Lake
Most fishing activity has been in the northeast arm and around the island. Ice is variable; check ice thickness often. There are open areas in the middle of the lake and around shore near inflows. Expect thinner ice under bridges and anywhere with current. Yellow Perch - Fair: Use waxworms and small minnows. Walleye – Fair. Bluegill - Fair: Use a waxworm or small minnow on a jig fished near structure. Reports of 9 inch keepers.

Moorland Pond
The DNR stocked rainbow trout in Moorland Pond on Jan. 24th. 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 6-15 inches, with thinner ice on the east part of the lake and other areas that were open recently. Use caution and avoid open areas near the island, seams, and discolored ice. Snow cover is variable. Anglers are catching perch, walleye, white bass and channel catfish.

Ice thickness in west central Iowa is 5 to 15 inches. Some lakes have open seams and thinner areas. 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 11 to 15 inches. Use caution near the aeration systems. 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 - Fair: Try a small spoon tipped with cut bait or several waxworms. You have to move around to find fish. 

Crystal Lake
Ice thickness is 11 to 15 inches. 

Eldred Sherwood Lake
Ice thickness is 11 to 15 inches. Bluegill - Slow: Use small jigs tipped with a waxworm. Best bite is late afternoon.

Interstate Park Lake
Ice thickness is 12 inches. No fishing activity reported.

Lake Smith
Ice thickness is 10 to 12 inches. Bluegill - Fair: Best bite is from around 3:30 p.m. until dark.

Rice Lake
Ice thickness is 11 to 15 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with a waxworm. Best bite is late afternoon. Yellow Perch – Slow:Try a small jigging spoon tipped with a waxworm.. Walleye – Slow. 

Silver Lake (Worth)
Ice thickness is 11 to 15 inches. Bluegill – Slow. 

Upper Pine Lake
Ice thickness is 7- 8 inches at the boat ramp.

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

Center Lake
Ice thickness is 14 to 16 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 14 to 15 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  has been good near Parks Marina in the evening. 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 12 to 16 inches. The aeration system has been started. Use caution on 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 15 to 18 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 15 to 18 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. Be prepared to move around until you get on top of them. 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 14 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 1 hour before and after sunset.

Ice thickness is 12 to 18 inches on area lakes. Large amounts of snow have covered up seams and ridges making them less evident. The snow has made it harder to travel across the lake. Do not travel under bridges and other areas of flow; most of these areas have only recently frozen over. 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 8 to 10 inches of ice with 5 inches of snow. Ice conditions may worsen with warmer temperatures. Use care when crossing areas with current. Check ice 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. Heavy use areas should be packed enough for anglers to get around. Use care when parking on the roadside. Trout streams are clear and remain ice free. Brook Trout - Good: Midges and small mayflies are hatching on warmer sunny days. Use flies imitating insects hatching. 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. 

Lake Hendricks
Lake Hendricks has about 10 inches of ice with 6 inches of snow on top. 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 are common. 

Lake Meyer
Lake Meyer has 10 inches of ice with 4 to 5 inches of snow on top. Use care when going on ice, especially around the dam. Check ice depths often. Hit or miss panfish action. Fish are hanging in 8 to 10 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 fished near the bottom. Morning bite is best. Black Crappie - Slow: Crappie are suspended above brush piles. Baited hooks work best. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Catching bass while fishing for panfish.

Turkey River (above Clermont)
Backwaters and slack water areas are ice and snow 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
Eight to 9 inches ice with 10 inches of snow on top. 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.

Chance of snow Thursday and Friday. Temperatures will warm through Sunday. Great time to take advantage of the weather. Use care on area rivers. Ice thickness varies on waterbodies with current. Area lakes have about 10 inches of ice with snow on top. For current fishing information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

Alice Wyth Lake
Anglers are catching a few crappie and bluegill. Bluegill - Fair: Use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom. Black Crappie - Fair: Try an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished 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.

Big Woods Lake
Anglers are catching a few crappie. Black Crappie - Fair: Find sunken fish structure. Use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished 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.

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 fished 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 fished 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.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Backwater areas of the Cedar River are producing some crappie. Use extreme caution when venturing out onto river ice. Black Crappie - Fair: Use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished 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. Use extreme caution, especially with the snow cover. Bluegill - Fair: Find sunken fish structure; use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom. Black Crappie - Fair: Find sunken fish structure. Try an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished 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. Northern Pike - Fair: Try setting up tip-up rigs with shiners for bait.

Martens Lake
Anglers are catching a few bluegill and crappie. Access is available crossing the reservoir from the north side of the lake; use caution. Bluegill - Fair: Use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom. Black Crappie - Fair: Try an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished 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.

Plainfield
Anglers report fair catches of panfish on Plainfield Lake this past week. Best bite is first light in morning and last hour before sunset. Bluegill - Fair: Find sunken fish structure. Use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom; electronics are a bonus to find fish. Black Crappie - Fair: Find sunken fish structure. Try an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished 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.

Ice anglers are getting out now with the more favorable ice conditions on area lakes and ponds. Use extreme caution on lakes and ponds, especially with the snow cover. Reports have been fair for both bluegill and crappie. 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 10.2 feet at Lansing. Protected backwaters have around 8 to 10 inches of ice. Ice conditions have deteriorated with a rise in river levels causing water on top of the ice and along shorelines. Yellow Perch - Good: Reports of nice-sized perch from Pool 9 backwaters. Black Crappie - Fair: 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. Northern Pike - Good: Tip-up anglers are having success with shiners or suckers for larger pike. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try a lively shiner on a tip-up for some big bass through the ice.

Mississippi River Pool 10
River level at Lynxville rose to 620.2 feet and is expected to recede this week. Protected backwaters have around 8 to 10 inches of ice. Ice conditions have deteriorated with a rise in river levels causing water on top of the ice and along shorelines. Sny Magill road is flooded. Ice on Johnson Slough has deteriorated. Yellow Perch - Good: 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. Northern Pike - Good: Tip-up anglers are having success with shiners or suckers for larger pike. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try a lively shiner on a tip-up for some big bass through the ice.

Mississippi River Pool 11
River level at Guttenberg has risen to 11.8 feet this week. Boat ramps are all iced in. Protected backwaters have around 8 to 10 inches of ice. Ice conditions have deteriorated with an rise in river levels causing water on top of the ice and along shorelines. 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. Northern Pike - Good: Tip-up anglers are having success with shiners or suckers for larger pike. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try a lively shiner on a tip-up for some big bass through the ice. 

Upper Mississippi River levels are expected to gradually recede after bumping up several feet last week. Many areas have water over the ice. Avoid poor ice conditions on shorelines and areas with current.

 

Mississippi River Pool 12
The water level is 10.3 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and 12.7 feet at the RR bridge. River levels at Dubuque are expected to crest. The water temperature is 32.5 degrees. Water clarity is good. The tailwater is fairly free of flowing ice, but boat ramps are iced in. Sauger - Fair: It takes some work to get into the tailwaters, but they are mostly open and can be fished. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are abundant, but not very aggressive. Use light equipment, small jigs and rod tips to detect small hits. Lots of sorting needed, but you can find some nice-sized gills. Yellow Perch - Fair: Anglers are catching a yellow perch or two when bluegill fishing. Some exceptional yellow perch creels were seen in early ice. Now anglers are only be catching a few each trip. Black Crappie - Fair: A few incidental crappies are being caught when ice fishing for bluegills. Reports of some nice crappies. 

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water level is 11.9 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam and is expected to crest. The water temperature is 32.5 degrees. Water clarity is good. The tailwater is ice free. The city ramp has been open to boat launching. Lots of ice angling taking place, but anglers are reporting slush and water on top of the ice due to the recent river raise. The popular ice fishing parking lot at Spring Lake in Illinois is closed this winter due to construction.  Sauger - Fair: Anglers report lots of smaller sauger with a few nice-sized fish mixed in. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are abundant, but not very aggressive. Use light equipment, small jigs and rod tips to detect small hits. Lots of sorting needed, but you can find some nice-sized gills. Yellow Perch - Fair: Anglers are catching a yellow perch or two when fishing for bluegill. Some anglers targeted good numbers of yellow perch in early ice, but now are only catching a few each trip. Black Crappie - Fair: A few incidental crappies are being caught when ice fishing for bluegills.

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is 8.5 feet at the Fulton Lock and Dam, 11.7 feet at Camanche and 6.2 feet at LeClaire. Water temperature is around 32.5 degrees. River levels are rising and expected to crest this week. The tailwater has been ice free, but finding an open boat ramp may be difficult. Ice anglers report slush and water on top of the ice from the river rise. Sauger - Fair: Early winter catches were decent with lots of smaller sauger reported along with some nice walleye and sauger taken. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are abundant, but not very aggressive. Use light equipment, small jigs and rod tips to detect small hits. Lots of sorting needed, but you can find some nice-sized gills.  Black Crappie - Fair: A few incidental crappies are being caught when ice fishing for bluegills.

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water level is around 9.3 feet at Rock Island and has been falling. The water temperature is around 33 degrees. Water clarity is good. 

Tailwaters are open, but ramps may have ice on them. Water levels fluctuated greatly this week. Backwater ice fishing conditions are variable; use caution, especially in snow-covered sloughs. Reported backwater ice depths are 2 to 7 inches. Water is often on top of the ice. If you have any fishing questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.

Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 9.31 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and has been fluctuating. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 15. The Marquette Street boat ramp is open. A little bit of flow ice is coming down the channel. We have not received tailwater fishing reports for walleye and saugers. Unsafe ice conditions. Fluctuating river levels have made unsafe ice conditions, especially along the shorelines.  

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 9.19 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and has risen close to 1 foot this week. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 16. As of Jan. 30th, the ramp at Muscatine was open, but the dock has been pulled out. Some flow ice was coming down the channel, but the gates were still in. We have not received any tailwater fishing reports for walleye and sauger. Unsafe ice conditions. Rising river levels have created unsafe ice conditions, especially along the shorelines.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 10.49 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and has been rising the past few days. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 17. The gates are out of the water. The boat ramp at Toolsboro is still iced in. Unsafe ice conditions. The rising river levels have created unsafe ice conditions, especially along the shorelines.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 8.7 feet at Lock and Dam 18 and has been rising the past few days. Flood stage is 10 feet at Lock and Dam 18. River stage is 13.97 feet at Burlington; flood stage is 15 feet. River stage is 527.51 feet at Fort Madison; flood stage is 528 feet. 
Unsafe ice conditions. The rising river levels have created unsafe ice conditions.

Tailwater stages have been rising the past few days. Main channel water temperature is around 32 degrees. Unsafe ice conditions. River levels have been fluctuating, creating unsafe ice conditions especially along the shorelines. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

 

SOUTHEAST

Big Hollow Lake
Four inches of good ice and an inch of frozen slush on top in the boat ramp bay. Use caution; there are a few places that don’t make good ice.  Black Crappie - Slow: Picking up some nice crappies just around the corner from the boat ramp bay out in the main lake.

Lake Belva Deer
Finally got to a fairly uniform layer of 4+ inches of clear ice with some frozen slush ice on top. Bluegill - Slow: Find bluegill near the bottom.

Lake Darling
The ice is thickening with recent below freezing days. Black Crappie - Slow: While we just got good ice, the fish are acting like it’s getting into late ice.

Lake Darling District Farm Ponds
Most of the Park ponds have good ice on them, but a couple (#9 and 14) had open water spots last weekend. Bluegill - Fair: Pick the right pond at the right time and you can do pretty well on nice-sized bluegills.

Lost Grove Lake
It's been cold enough that the thin spots are gone. Always drill test holes before you go out. Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers are picking up some nice eater-sized crappies, but it’s a couple here and a couple there type of action.

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

Cedar River (La Porte City to Cedar Rapids)
The backwaters in Benton County have about 7 inches of ice. Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie – Slow. Largemouth Bass – Slow.

Central Park Lake
Ice thickness 6 to 8 inches. Bluegill - Fair: Most fish are around 4-6 inches. Use jigs tipped with waxies or plastics. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Most fish are around 8-12 inches.

Central Park Pond
Ice thickness is 6 to 7 inches.

Coralville Reservoir
The lake is froze over, but the channel has poor ice; travel is not recommended. The protected areas out of the current and wind have 4 to 6 inches of ice. The lake is at normal winter pool of 683.4 feet.

Diamond Lake
Ice thickness is 2 to 6 inches; use extreme caution. 

Green Castle Lake
No ice or fishing reports are available. Anglers have been on the ice.

Hannen Lake
Ice thickness is 5 to 6 inches.

Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
Ice is 9 inches at the boat ramp; out farther is 7 inches. The east end of the lake may have less ice; check ice conditions as you go.

Lake Macbride
Much of the lake has 5 to 8 inches of ice; areas of deeper water that froze up late may have poor ice. Use caution and check often if you stray from the usual areas. Bluegill –Fair: Use small jigs/waxies fished over brush or rock pile. Size is marginal at best. Black Crappie - Slow: The bite has been tough. Isolated brush or stumps has been best. Best bite is early and late in the day.

Otter Creek Lake
Ice thickness is 6 to 7 inches. Bluegill - Slow: Use jigs and waxies. Black Crappie - Slow: Try jigs and waxies.

Pleasant Creek Lake
The lake has 3 to 8 inches of ice, depending on where you are. The west end of the lake has the best ice; the east end may not be safe for travel. Bluegill - Fair: Some fish are being caught at the west end of the lake. Try around brush or jetties near shore. Yellow Perch - Slow: Some smaller fish are being caught.

Rodgers Park Lake
Ice thickness is 5 to 6 inches.

Sand Lake
No ice or fishing reports are available. Anglers have been on the ice.

Union Grove Lake
Most of the lake has 4 to 6 inches of ice. The aeration system has been turned on; there is open water at the south end of the lake.

Some lakes have safe ice, while others are extremely variable. Always check ice thickness and use caution when venturing out. For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.

Albia Lower Reservoir
Anglers are catching some bluegill around the submerged structure. Use caution; ice thickness has been variable in the district.

Lake Miami
Few reports this week; anglers are just starting to get out now with better ice conditions. Ice conditions are variable.

Lake Sugem
Ice formed recently and is variable in thickness; use caution if venturing out. Geese are keeping areas open; be aware of these areas.

Lake Wapello
The lake iced up recently; use caution if venturing out. There is thin ice or open water out in front of the lodge area due to geese keeping the water open. Anglers are catching some bluegills.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 904.44 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 ice is variable on the lake; use caution if venturing out. Use caution in areas inside and next to docks at the Rathbun Marina and the Honey Creek Resort as they are using deicing equipment this winter.

Red Haw Lake
Ice formed recently; use caution. Ice thickness is variable.

Ice thickness is variable; use caution. Most lakes froze up recently. Lakes have about 4 inches of snow and slush on top of the ice. 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
The trout stocking and family fishing event scheduled for Feb. 1 has been postponed to February 8, pending safe ice conditions. The 8 inches of ice was not enough for a large, concentrated event. Rainbow Trout - Fair: Catch previously stocked trout 5 to 20 yards off shore with panfish jigs and small jigging spoons tipped with waxworms.

Big Creek Lake
As of Jan. 28, the large area that was open water a couple weeks ago is averaging 6 to 8 inches. Ice is 10 to 12 inches in the coves and the north end.

Don Williams Lake
Black Crappie - Slow: Use minnows or glow jigs tipped with waxworms fished in the late afternoon and just after dark. The bite has become more difficult over the past week.

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
Trout were stocked on Jan. 28. There is 8 inches of good ice for anglers. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout - Excellent: Use panfish jigs and small jigging spoons tipped with waxworms. The best bite for previously stocked trout has been fishing suspended fish out deeper. Find the newly stocked trout may in shallower water.

Ice fishing conditions in Central Iowa are fair to good. Use caution on lakes south of I80 where areas of thin ice have been persistent. 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)
Ice thickness is 6 inches. On Jan. 24th, 1000 rainbow trout were stocked into Big Lake. Rainbow Trout - Good: Any type of small spinner or minnow under a bobber will catch rainbow trout.

Lake Anita
The open water created by the geese has shrunk to a small area. Use caution north of the beach. Anglers report 5 to 7 inches of ice on most of the lake. Bluegill - Slow: A few bluegills are being caught south of the campground. Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers report early and late in the day is best for 9 inch black crappies.

Lake Manawa
Ice is variable. Some activity is taking place around the dredge cuts. Black Crappie - Slow: A few reports of fair crappie fishing in the dredge cuts late in the afternoon.

Littlefield Lake
Littlefield has a consistent 9 inches of ice. Bluegill - Fair: Anglers are finding bluegills in the cedar tree piles. Sorting is needed for larger fish.

Orient Lake
Fall fisheries surveys showed good numbers of crappies and bluegills. No reports are available at this time. Black Crappie - No Report: Black crappies will average 9 inches. Bluegill - No Report: Bluegills will average 8 inches.

Prairie Rose Lake
Ice thickness is 7 to 9 inches. Most of the fishing activity is taking place east of the beach on the north side of the lake. Bluegill - Slow: The fishing should improve with a more stable weather pattern. A few large bluegills are being picked up east of the beach around the rock piles.

Ice conditions are variable in the Southwest District. Lakes in the northern part of the district have 9 inches of ice, but lakes in the southern part range from unsafe to 6 inches. For more information call the SW District Office at 712-769-2587.

Green Valley Lake
Variable ice thickness up to 8 inches. Black Crappie - Good: Catch crappie up to 9 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm or minnow fished near cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill - Good: Catch bluegill up to 7.5 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished near cedar tree brush piles.

Lake Icaria
Variable ice conditions up to 7 inches. Areas of open water near the dam. Black Crappie - Fair: Catch crappies up to 10 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm or minnow fished along cedar tree brush piles. Walleye - Fair: Try jigs tipped with a minnow fished along the roadbed for walleye of all sizes.

Little River Watershed Lake
Ice thickness is variable up to 7 inches. Areas of open water along the campground and main ramp areas.

Summit Lake
Ice thickness is variable from 4 to 8 inches. Bluegill - Fair: Catch bluegill of all sizes up to 8.5 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished near cedar tree brush piles.

Three Mile Lake
Variable ice thickness up to 7 inches. Area of open water near the main campground point. Bluegill - Slow: Catch bluegill up to 8 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished along the roadbed.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
Variable ice thickness up to 8 inches. Bluegill - Slow: Catch bluegill up to 8.5 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished along the roadbed or cedar tree brush piles. Black Crappie - Fair: Catch crappie up to 10 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm or minnow fished along the roadbed or cedar tree brush piles. Walleye - Slow: Try jigs tipped with a minnow fished along the roadbed for walleye of all sizes.

Ice conditions for the Mount Ayr district lakes is variable, ranging from 4 to 6 inches. Check ice thickness often when venturing out. Geese are keeping some areas of open water at some district lakes.

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NORTHWEST

Arrowhead Lake
Ice thickness is 8 inches near the boat ramp. Conditions are variable; 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 stocked rainbow trout at Bacon Creek Lake 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 around 12 inches of ice off of Ice House Point boat ramp and 11 inches of ice off the 30 Acres boat ramp at the state campground on the SE part of the lake. Conditions are more variable in the east basin of the lake. 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, the Ice House Point boat ramp, and in the marina. Keeper-size perch are 8 to 10 inches; sorting is needed. Waxworms and small minnows work well. Bluegill - Fair: Most anglers are using waxworms fished near the Ice House Point boat ramp and the rock piles off Gunshot Hill and Cottonwood Point. Channel Catfish - Fair: Anglers have picked up catfish off the rock pile north of Cottonwood Point and in the east basin; use waxworms.. Black Crappie - Fair: Try minnows and waxworms fished in the marina and off the rock pile near Gunshot Hill. Most fish are 8-10 inches; sorting is needed. Walleye - Slow. 

Black Hawk Pits
There was 6 inches of ice off the boat ramp on Feb 6. Conditions are variable; use caution and check ice thickness often. Black Crappie - Fair: Use waxworms. 

Brushy Creek Lake
Most fishing activity has been in the northeast arm and around the island. Ice is variable; check ice thickness often. There are open areas in the middle of the lake and around shore near inflows. Expect thinner ice under bridges and anywhere with current. Yellow Perch - Fair: Use waxworms and small minnows. Walleye – Fair. Bluegill - Fair: Use a waxworm or small minnow on a jig fished near structure. Reports of 9 inch keepers.

Moorland Pond
Rainbow Trout - Fair: 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. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Ice thickness is 6-15 inches, with thinner ice on the east part of the lake. Use caution and avoid open areas near the island. Snow cover is variable. The bite has slowed down; anglers are catching perch, crappie, walleye and white bass.

Ice thickness in west central Iowa is 5 to 15 inches. Some lakes have open areas and seams. Use caution; check thickness often. 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 12 to 15 inches. Use caution near the aeration systems. 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 waxworms. You have to move around to find fish. 

Crystal Lake
Ice thickness is 12 to 15 inches. 

Interstate Park Lake
Ice thickness is 12 inches. No fishing activity reported.

Lower Pine Lake
Use extra caution directly north and east of the Island; an area of poor ice was reported. A few reports of anglers catching keeper-size perch and crappie, but most report catching only small bluegill. Bluegill – Fair.

Rice Lake
Ice thickness is 11 to 15 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with a waxworm. Best bite is late afternoon. Yellow Perch – Slow:Try a small jigging spoon tipped with a waxworm.. Walleye – Slow. 

Silver Lake (Worth)
Ice thickness is 11 to 15 inches. Bluegill – Slow. 

Upper Pine Lake
Anglers are catching small bluegill and perch.

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

Center Lake
Ice thickness is 14 to 16 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 14 to 15 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  has been good near Parks Marina in the evening. 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 12 to 16 inches. The aeration system has been started. Use caution on 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 15 to 18 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 15 to 18 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. Be prepared to move around until you get on top of them. 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 14 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 1 hour before and after sunset.

Ice thickness is 12 to 18 inches on area lakes. Ice conditions are generally good; be weary of holes caused by springs/methane release. Do not travel under bridges and other areas of flow; most of these areas have little to no ice. 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 5 to 9 inches of ice with 5 inches of snow. Ice conditions may change with warmer temperatures. Use care when crossing areas with current. Check ice 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 lots in wildlife management areas are not plowed. Heavy use areas should be packed enough for anglers to get around. Use care when parking on the roadside. Trout streams are clear and remain ice free. Brook Trout - Good: Midges and small mayflies are hatching on warmer sunny days. Use flies imitating insects hatching. 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. 

Lake Hendricks
Lake Hendricks has about 14 inches of ice with 6 inches of snow on top. 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 are common. 

Lake Meyer
Lake Meyer has 10 inches of ice with 4 to 5 inches of snow on top. Use care when going on ice, especially around the dam. Check ice depths often. Hit or miss panfish action. Fish are hanging in 8 to 10 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 fished near the bottom. Morning bite is best. Black Crappie - Slow: Crappie are suspended above brush piles. Baited hooks work best. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Catching bass while fishing for panfish.

Turkey River (above Clermont)
Backwaters and slack water areas are ice and snow 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. Walleye - Slow: Anglers are catching walleye in off-channel areas and drop-offs using minnows.

Volga Lake
Ten inches of ice with some snow on top. Use care when going on ice; check ice depths often. Fish action remains spotty. Black Crappie - Fair: Use waxworms or spikes fished in brush or rock piles. Bluegill - Fair: Try small bait on small hooks. Gills are small.

Chance of snow through the weekend; greater chance begins Saturday night. Temperatures are in the upper 20's to low 30's. Use care on area rivers. Ice thickness varies on waterbodies with current. Area lakes have about 10 inches of ice with snow on top. For current fishing information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

Alice Wyth Lake
Anglers are catching a few crappie and bluegill. Bluegill - Fair: Use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom. Black Crappie - Fair: Try an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished 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.

Big Woods Lake
Anglers are catching a few crappie. Black Crappie - Fair: Find sunken fish structure. Use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished 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.

Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Best ice conditions on the lake are near the dam area. Bluegill - Excellent: Quality size bluegill are being caught in the early morning hours in 10 to 11 feet of water or deeper and on structure. Find sunken fish structure near the dam. Use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished 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 fished 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.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Backwater areas of the Cedar River are producing some crappie. Use extreme caution when venturing out onto river ice. Black Crappie - Fair: Use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished 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. Use extreme caution, especially with the snow cover. Bluegill - Fair: Find sunken fish structure; use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom. Black Crappie - Fair: Find sunken fish structure. Try an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished 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. Northern Pike - Fair: Try setting up tip-up rigs with shiners for bait.

Martens Lake
Anglers are catching a few bluegill and crappie; reports are best for northern pike. Access is available crossing the reservoir from the north side of the lake; use caution. Bluegill - Fair: Use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom. Black Crappie - Fair: Try an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished 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. Northern Pike - Good: Use a live shiner or chub under a tip-up rig. 

Plainfield
Anglers report fair catches of panfish on Plainfield Lake this past week. Best bite is first light in morning and last hour before sunset. Bluegill - Fair: Find sunken fish structure. Use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom; electronics are a bonus to find fish. Black Crappie - Fair: Find sunken fish structure. Try an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished 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.

Ice anglers are getting out now with the more favorable ice conditions on area lakes and ponds. Use extreme caution on lakes and ponds, especially with the snow cover. Reports have been fair for both bluegill and crappie. 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 drop a foot to 9.2 feet. Protected backwaters have around 10 inches of ice. Ice conditions along the shorelines can be unstable due to dropping river levels. Yellow Perch - Good: Reports of nice-sized perch from Pool 9 backwaters. Black Crappie - Fair: 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. Northern Pike - Good: Tip-up anglers are having success with shiners or suckers for larger pike. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try a lively shiner on a tip-up for some big bass through the ice.

Mississippi River Pool 10
River level at Lynxville dropped to 18.8 feet; a gradual fall is predicted this week. Protected backwaters have 10 inches of ice. Ice conditions along the shorelines can be unstable due to dropping river levels. Sny Magill road is closed due to flooding. Yellow Perch - Good: 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. Northern Pike - Good: Tip-up anglers are having success with shiners or suckers for larger pike. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try a lively shiner on a tip-up for some big bass through the ice.

Mississippi River Pool 11
River level at Guttenberg has risen to 11.8 feet this week. Boat ramps are all iced in. Protected backwaters have 10 inches of ice. Ice conditions along the shorelines can be unstable due to dropping river levels. Yellow Perch - Fair: Perch are biting in Sunfish and Mud Lake. Use caution and avoid the creek area at Mud Lake; unsafe ice. Fish in deeper cuts with some vegetation in backwater areas. Black Crappie - Slow: Few reports of crappie mixed with bluegills fished through the ice. Northern Pike - Good: Tip-up anglers are having success with shiners or suckers for larger pike. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try a lively shiner on a tip-up for some big bass through the ice. 

Upper Mississippi River levels are expected to gradually recede after bumping up last week. Some ice flow is still occurring making access and fishing difficult below dams. Most areas have 7 to 10 inches of ice. Falling river levels will impact shoreline ice conditions. Avoid poor ice conditions on shorelines and areas with current.

 

Mississippi River Pool 12
The water level is 10 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and 12.3 feet at the RR bridge. River levels at Dubuque are receding. The water temperature is 32.5 degrees. Water clarity is good. The tailwater is fairly free of flowing ice, but boat ramps are iced in. Ice anglers are reporting water and slush on top of the ice in many places. Sauger - Good: It takes some work to get into the tailwaters, but they are mostly open and can be fished. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are abundant, but not very aggressive. Use light equipment, small jigs and rod tips able to detect small hits. Lots of sorting needed, but you can find some nice-sized gills. Yellow Perch - Fair: Anglers are catching a yellow perch or two when bluegill fishing. Some exceptional yellow perch creels were seen in early ice. Now anglers are only be catching a few each trip. Black Crappie - Fair: A few incidental crappies are being caught when ice fishing for bluegills. Reports of some nice crappies. 

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water level is 11.6 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam and is receding. The water temperature is 32.5 degrees. Water clarity is good. The tailwater is ice free. The city ramp has been open. Ice fishing is taking place, but anglers are reporting slush and water on top of the ice and open edges in some backwaters.  Sauger - Good: Anglers report lots of smaller sauger with a few nice-sized fish mixed in. Lock and Dam gates are open. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are abundant, but not very aggressive. Use light equipment, small jigs and rod tips able to detect small hits. Lots of sorting needed, but you can find some nice-sized gills. Yellow Perch - Fair: Anglers are catching a yellow perch or two when fishing for bluegill. Some anglers targeted good numbers of yellow perch in early ice, but now are only catching a few each trip. Black Crappie - Fair: A few incidental crappies are being caught when ice fishing for bluegills. Largemouth Bass - Good: Quite a few largemouth bass are being caught through the ice this year. 

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is 9.9 feet at the Fulton Lock and Dam, 12.8 feet at Camanche and 7.3 feet at LeClaire. Water temperature is around 32.5 degrees. River levels are receding. The tailwater has been ice free, but finding an open boat ramp may be difficult. Ice anglers report slush and water on top of the ice and open edges in many places. Sauger - Fair: Early winter catches were decent with lots of smaller sauger reported along with some nice walleye and sauger taken. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are abundant, but not very aggressive. Use light equipment, small jigs and rod tips able to detect small hits. Lots of sorting needed, but you can find some nice-sized gills.  Black Crappie - Fair: A few incidental crappies are being caught when ice fishing for bluegills.

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water level is around 10.3 feet at Rock Island and has been falling. The water temperature is around 33 degrees. Water clarity is good. 

Tailwaters are open, but ramps may have ice on them. Water levels are receding throughout the district. Backwater ice fishing conditions are variable; use caution, especially in snow-covered sloughs. Reported backwater ice depths are 1 to 7 inches. Water is often on top of the ice. If you have any fishing questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.

Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 10.27 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and has been rising. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 15. The Marquette Street boat ramp is open. Unsafe ice conditions. Fluctuating river levels have made unsafe ice conditions, especially along the shorelines. Sauger - Slow: Reports of small saugers being caught in Sylvan Slough. Use jigs and minnows or troll three-way rigs with stick baits. 

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 9.3 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and has been rising. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 16. As of Feb. 6, the ramp at Muscatine was open, but the dock has been pulled out. The gates are in at the dam still. We have not received any tailwater fishing reports for walleye and sauger. Unsafe ice conditions. Rising river levels have created unsafe ice conditions, especially along the shorelines.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 10.56 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and has been rising the past few days. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 17. The gates are out of the water at the Lock and Dam. The boat ramp at Toolsboro is open and free of ice. We have not received any tailwater fishing reports for walleyes and saugers. Unsafe ice conditions. The rising river levels have created unsafe ice conditions, especially along the shorelines.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 7.44 feet at Lock and Dam 18 and has been falling the past few days. Flood stage is 10 feet at Lock and Dam 18. River stage is 12.7 feet at Burlington and has been falling the past few days. We have not received any fishing or ice condition reports for this pool.

Tailwater stages have been rising the past few days. Tailwater stages are forecast to start falling over the weekend. Main channel water temperature is around 32 degrees. Unsafe ice conditions. With warm temperatures this past weekend and river levels fluctuating, there is some unsafe ice conditions especially along the shorelines.  If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

 

SOUTHEAST

Central Park Lake
Ice thickness 6 to 8 inches. Bluegill - Fair: Most fish are around 4-6 inches. Use jigs tipped with waxies or plastics. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Most fish are around 8-12 inches.

Central Park Pond
Ice thickness is 6 to 7 inches.

Coralville Reservoir
The lake is froze over, but the channel has poor ice; travel is not recommended. The protected areas out of the current and wind have 4 to 6 inches of ice. The lake is at normal winter pool of 683.4 feet.

Diamond Lake
Ice thickness is 2 to 6 inches; use extreme caution. 

Green Castle Lake
No ice or fishing reports are available. Anglers have been on the ice.

Hannen Lake
Ice thickness is 5 to 6 inches.

Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
Ice is 9 inches at the boat ramp; out farther is 7 inches. The east end of the lake may have less ice; check ice conditions as you go.

Lake Macbride
Much of the lake has 6 to 8 inches of ice; there are areas of deeper water, especially at the lower end of the lake, that may have poor ice. Bluegill – Good: Use small jigs/waxies fished over brush or rock pile. Black Crappie - Slow: The bite has been tough. Isolated brush or stumps has been best. Best bite is early and late in the day. Most success has been in 10-15 feet of water. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Slow: A few bonus fish are being picked up in 18-20 feet of water. Walleye – Slow.

Otter Creek Lake
Ice thickness is 8 to 11 inches. Bluegill - Fair: Use jigs and waxies. Black Crappie - Fair: Try jigs and waxies. Yellow Bass - Fair: Use jigs tipped with waxies or cut bait.

Pleasant Creek Lake
The lake has 4 to 8 inches of ice, depending on where you are. The west end of the lake has the best ice; the east end should be checked before walked on. Bluegill - Fair: Some fish are being caught at the west end of the lake. Try around brush or jetties near shore. Yellow Perch - Slow: Some smaller fish are being caught.

Rodgers Park Lake
Ice thickness is 5 to 6 inches.

Sand Lake
No ice or fishing reports are available. Anglers have been on the ice.

Union Grove Lake
Most of the lake has 6 to 8 inches of ice. The aeration system has been turned on; there is open water at the south end of the lake. Bluegill - Fair: Catch fish up to 8 inches with jigs/waxies fished in brush piles.

Always check ice thickness and use caution when venturing out. For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.

Albia Lower Reservoir
Anglers are catching some bluegill around the submerged structure. Use caution; ice thickness has been variable in the district.

Lake Miami
Few reports this week; anglers are just starting to get out now with better ice conditions. Ice conditions are variable.

Lake Sugem
Ice formed recently and is variable in thickness; use caution if venturing out. Geese are keeping areas open; be aware of these areas.

Lake Wapello
The lake iced up recently; use caution if venturing out. There is thin ice or open water out in front of the lodge area due to geese keeping the water open. Anglers are catching some bluegills.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 904.97 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. The ice is variable on the lake; use caution if venturing out. Use caution in areas inside and next to docks at the Rathbun Marina and the Honey Creek Resort as they are using deicing equipment this winter.

Red Haw Lake
Ice formed recently; use caution. Ice thickness is variable.

Ice thickness is variable; use caution. Lakes have about 4 inches of snow and slush on top of the ice. 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
The trout stocking and family fishing event will be held this Saturday, Feb. 8 at noon. JAX Outdoors, the City of Ames and local businesses have donated prizes for tagged fish. Tags can be turned in to JAX until 6 p.m. on Feb. 22. Rainbow Trout - Good: Catch trout 5 to 20 yards off shore with panfish jigs and small jigging spoons tipped with waxworms.

Big Creek Lake
Ice conditions are good; ice thickness is 8 to 12 inches.  Walleye - Fair: Use minnows fished still or on jigging spoons. Fish mid-lake on drop-offs to the creek channel in 20 to 30 feet of water.

Don Williams Lake
Black Crappie - Slow: Use minnows or glow jigs tipped with waxworms fished at sunrise or in the late afternoon and just after dark. 

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 Ahquabi
Ice thickness is 6 to 8 inches. Test the ice thickness when you venture out.  Bluegill - Good. Crappie – Fair: Good size.

Lake Petocka
Trout were stocked on Jan. 28. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout - Good: Use panfish jigs and small jigging spoons tipped with waxworms. The good bite is fishing suspended fish out deeper.

Ice fishing conditions in Central Iowa are good. Use caution on lakes south of I80 where areas of thin ice have been persistent. 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)
Ice thickness is 6 inches. On Jan. 24th, 1000 rainbow trout were stocked into Big Lake.You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout - Good: Any type of small spinner or minnow under a bobber will catch rainbow trout.

Lake Anita
Anglers report 5 to 7 inches of ice on most of the lake. Bluegill - Slow: A few bluegills are being caught south of the campground. Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers report early and late in the day is best for 9 inch black crappies.

Lake Manawa
Ice is variable. Some activity is taking place around the dredge cuts. Black Crappie - Slow: A few reports of fair crappie fishing in the dredge cuts late in the afternoon.

Littlefield Lake
Littlefield has a consistent 9 inches of ice. Bluegill - Fair: Anglers are finding bluegills in the cedar tree piles. Sorting is needed for larger fish.

Orient Lake
Anglers report 7 inches of ice. Fall fisheries surveys showed good numbers of crappies and bluegills. Black Crappie - Fair: The best bite is early and late for 9 to 12 inch black crappie. Bluegill - Fair: Use waxworms fished around the cedar tree piles. Fish  average 8 inches. Yellow Perch - Fair:  Catch yellow perch early in the morning. Pink color jigs or spoon work best with waxworms. Fish are 8 to 12 inches. Channel Catfish - Good: Anglers have had a bonus fish this week. Most catfish are 18 to 24 inches.

Prairie Rose Lake
Ice thickness is 7 to 9 inches. Most of the fishing activity is taking place east of the beach on the north side of the lake. Bluegill - Slow: The fishing should improve with a more stable weather pattern. A few large bluegills are being picked up east of the beach around the rock piles.

Ice conditions are still variable in the southern part of the district. Lakes in the northern part of the district have 9 inches of ice. For more information call the SW District Office at 712-769-2587.

Green Valley Lake
Variable ice thickness up to 8 inches. Black Crappie - Good: Catch crappie up to 9 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm or minnow fished near cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill - Good: Catch bluegill up to 7.5 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished near cedar tree brush piles.

Lake Icaria
Variable ice conditions up to 7 inches. Areas of open water near the dam. Black Crappie - Slow: Catch crappies up to 10 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm or minnow fished along cedar tree brush piles. Walleye - Slow: Try jigs tipped with a minnow fished along the roadbed for walleye of all sizes.

Little River Watershed Lake
Ice thickness is variable up to 7 inches. Areas of open water along the campground and main ramp areas.

Three Mile Lake
Variable ice thickness up to 7 inches. Area of open water near the main campground point. Bluegill - Slow: Catch bluegill up to 8 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished along the roadbed.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
Variable ice thickness up to 8 inches. Bluegill - Fair: Catch bluegill up to 8.5 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished along the roadbed or cedar tree brush piles. Black Crappie - Fair: Catch crappie up to 10 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm or minnow fished along the roadbed or cedar tree brush piles. Walleye - Fair: Try jigs tipped with a minnow fished along the roadbed for walleye of all sizes.

Ice conditions for the Mount Ayr district lakes is variable, ranging from 4 to 8 inches. Check ice thickness often when venturing out. Geese are keeping some areas of open water at some district lakes.

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IOWA FISHING REPORTS

 

NORTHWEST

Arrowhead Lake
Ice thickness is around 7 inches near the boat ramp. Conditions are variable; check ice thickness often if you venture out. Use waxworms and minnows near structure to target bluegill, crappie and perch.

Bacon Creek Lake
The DNR stocked rainbow trout at Bacon Creek Lake in January. 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 around 12 inches of ice off of Ice House Point boat ramp. Conditions are more variable in the east basin of the lake. 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 in the marina and near Provost Point. Keeper-size perch are 8 to 10 inches; sorting is needed. Use waxworms and small minnows. Bluegill - Fair: Most anglers are using waxworms fished near the Ice House Point boat ramp and the rock piles off Gunshot Hill and Cottonwood Point. Most fish are 7-8 inches. Channel Catfish - Fair: Anglers have picked up catfish off the rock pile north of Cottonwood Point and in the east basin; use waxworms. Black Crappie - Fair: Try minnows and waxworms fished in the marina and off the rock pile near Gunshot Hill. Most fish are 8-10 inches; sorting is needed. Walleye - Slow. 

Black Hawk Pits
Ice thickness is 6 to 8 inches near the ramp. Thin ice and open water are by the west shoreline near the highway. Conditions are variable; use caution and check ice thickness often. Black Crappie - Fair: Use waxworms. 

Brushy Creek Lake
Ice thickness is 10 to 14 inches in the NE arm and around Taylor's Island. Ice is thinner and more variable mid-lake. There may be open areas in the middle of the lake, under bridges and near inflows. Yellow Perch - Fair: Use waxworms and small minnows. Some sorting is needed. Walleye – Fair. Bluegill - Fair: Use a waxworm or small minnow on a jig fished near structure. Reports of 9 inch keepers.

Moorland Pond
Rainbow Trout - Fair: 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. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

North Twin Lake
Ice thickness is 12 to 14 inches in most areas. There are small pockets of open water near a tile outlet on the west side in the southern portion of the lake and near the outlet.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Ice thickness is 8 to 15 inches, with thinner ice on the east part of the lake. Avoid open areas near the island. Anglers are catching perch, crappie, walleye and white bass.

Ice thickness in west central Iowa is 8 to 16 inches. Some lakes have open areas and seams. Use caution; check thickness often. 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 12 to 15 inches. Use caution near the aeration systems. Yellow Perch - Good: Yellow perch are biting on a variety of baits. Use larger baits and change location to find bigger fish. Walleye - Slow: Try a jigging spoon tipped with a minnow head near the edge of vegetation. 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 waxworms. You have to move around to find fish. 

Crystal Lake
Ice thickness is 12 to 15 inches. 

Lower Pine Lake
Use extra caution directly north and east of the Island; an area of poor ice was reported. A few reports of anglers catching keeper-size perch and crappie, but most are only catching  small bluegill. Bluegill – Fair.

Rice Lake
Ice thickness is 11 to 15 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with a waxworm. Best bite is late afternoon. Yellow Perch – Slow:Try a small jigging spoon tipped with a waxworm. Walleye – Slow. 

Silver Lake (Worth)
Ice thickness is 11 to 15 inches. Bluegill – Slow. 

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

Center Lake
Ice thickness is 14 to 16 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 14 to 15 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  has been good near Parks Marina in the evening. 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 12 to 16 inches. The aeration system has been started. Use caution on the southeast side of the lake and off 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 15 to 18 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 15 to 18 inches. Walleye - Good: Fish one 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: Try minnows and small jigs in Anglers Bay and near Minniwaukon. Best bite is early and late. Be prepared to move around until you get on top of them. 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
Ice conditions are variable. Beware of heaves at Atwell and Gull Point; don't drive over heaves/seams. Ice thickness has been up to 14 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 13 to 18 inches on area lakes. Ice conditions are generally good; be weary of holes caused by springs/methane release. Do not travel under bridges and other areas of flow; most of these areas have little to no ice. 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 5 to 9 inches of ice with 5 inches of snow. Ice conditions may change with warmer temperatures. Use care when crossing areas with current. Check ice 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 lots in wildlife management areas are not plowed. Heavy use areas should be packed enough for anglers to get around. Use care when parking on the roadside. Trout streams are clear and remain ice free. Brook Trout - Good: Midges and small mayflies are hatching on warmer sunny days. Use flies imitating insects hatching. 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. 

Lake Hendricks
Lake Hendricks has about 14 inches of ice with 10 inches of snow on top. Fish activity has slowed. Open water around the aerator; be careful around this area. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the ice. Black Crappie - Slow: Use a small jig tipped with a waxworm. Fish are suspended off the bottom. A variety of sizes are being caught. Bluegill - Slow: Use a baited hook; gills are sitting closer to the bottom. 

Lake Meyer
Lake Meyer has 10 inches of ice with 6 inches of snow on top. Use care when going on ice, especially around the dam. Check ice depths often. Hit or miss panfish action. Fish are hanging in 8 to 10 feet of water around brush piles. Bluegill - Slow: Anglers are marking a lot of fish, but few bites. Find gills around brush piles using a small jig tipped with a waxworm fished near the bottom. Morning bite is best. Black Crappie - Slow: Crappie are suspended above brush piles. Baited hooks work best. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Catching bass while fishing for panfish.

Turkey River (above Clermont)
Backwaters and slack water areas are ice and snow 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. Walleye - Slow: Anglers are catching walleye in off-channel areas and drop-offs using minnows.

Volga Lake
Ten inches of ice with some snow on top. Use care when going on ice; check ice depths often. Fish action remains spotty. Black Crappie - Slow: Use waxworms or spikes fished in brush or rock piles. Bluegill - Slow: Try small bait on small hooks. Gills are small.

Chance of snow through the weekend. Temperatures are in the upper 20's to low 30's. Use care on area rivers. Ice thickness varies on waterbodies with current. Fish activity is slow on area lakes. For current fishing information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Best ice conditions on the lake are near the dam area. Bluegill - Excellent: Quality size bluegill are being caught in the early morning hours in 10 to 11 feet of water or deeper and on structure. Find sunken fish structure near the dam. Use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished 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 fished 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.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Backwater areas of the Cedar River are producing some crappie. Use extreme caution when venturing out onto river ice. Black Crappie - Fair: Use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished 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.

Martens Lake
Anglers are catching a few bluegill and crappie; reports are best for northern pike. Access is available crossing the reservoir from the north side of the lake; use caution. Bluegill - Fair: Use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom. Black Crappie - Fair: Try an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished 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. Northern Pike - Good: Use a live shiner or chub under a tip-up rig. 

Plainfield
Anglers report fair catches of panfish on Plainfield Lake this past week. Best bite is first light in morning and last hour before sunset. Bluegill - Fair: Find sunken fish structure. Use an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished just off of the bottom; electronics are a bonus to find fish. Black Crappie - Fair: Find sunken fish structure. Try an ice jig tipped with a waxworm fished 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.

Ice fishing reports are few 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 drop a foot to 9 feet. Protected backwaters have around 10 to 12 inches of ice. Ice conditions along the shorelines can be unstable due to fluctuating river levels. Yellow Perch - Good: Reports of nice-sized perch from Pool 9 backwaters. Black Crappie - Good: Crappie bite is better later afternoon into evening. Bluegill - Good: Bluegill are biting on waxworms fished through the ice in backwater lakes. Northern Pike - Good: Tip-up anglers are having success with shiners or suckers for larger pike. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try a lively shiner on a tip-up for some big bass through the ice.

Mississippi River Pool 10
River level at Lynxville dropped to 17.5 feet, but is predicted to bump up again this week. Protected backwaters have around 10 to 12 inches of ice. Ice conditions along the shorelines can be unstable due to fluctuating river levels. Sny Magill road has reopened. Yellow Perch - Good: Reports of nice-sized perch from Pool 10 backwaters. Black Crappie - Fair: Crappie bite is better later afternoon into evening. Bluegill - Good: Bluegill are biting on waxworms fished through the ice in backwater lakes. Northern Pike - Good: Tip-up anglers are having success with shiners or suckers for larger pike. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try a lively shiner on a tip-up for some big bass through the ice.

Mississippi River Pool 11
River level at Guttenberg has fallen several feet to 9 feet, but is expected to edge back up. Boat ramps are all iced in. Protected backwaters have around 10 to 12 inches of ice. Ice conditions along the shorelines can be unstable due to fluctuating river levels. Yellow Perch - Fair: Perch are biting in Sunfish and Mud Lake. Use caution and avoid the creek area at Mud Lake; unsafe ice. Fish in deeper cuts with some vegetation in backwater areas. Black Crappie - Fair: Crappie bite is better later afternoon into evening. Northern Pike - Good: Tip-up anglers are having success with shiners or suckers for larger pike. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try a lively shiner on a tip-up for some big bass through the ice. 

Upper Mississippi River levels fell quickly last week with another slight rise expected. Most backwater lakes have up to 12 inches of ice. Ice anglers are moving around a lot with conditions changing daily. Fluctuating water levels have left shorelines unstable. Avoid crossing areas with any current.

 

Mississippi River Pool 12
The water level is 7.4 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and 9.9 feet at the RR bridge. River levels at Dubuque are expected to be steady. The water temperature is 32.5 degrees. Water clarity is good. The tailwater is fairly free of flowing ice, but boat ramps are iced in. Sauger - Good: It takes some work to get into the tailwaters, but they are mostly open and can be fished. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are abundant, but not very aggressive. Use light equipment, small jigs and rod tips able to detect small hits. Lots of sorting needed, but you can find some nice-sized gills. Yellow Perch - Fair: Anglers are catching a yellow perch or two when bluegill fishing. Some exceptional yellow perch creels were seen in early ice. Now anglers are only be catching a few each trip. Black Crappie - Fair: A few incidental crappies are being caught when ice fishing for bluegills. Reports of some nice crappies. 

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water level is 7.9 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam and is stable. The water temperature is 32.5 degrees. Water clarity is good. The tailwater is ice free. The city ramp has been open, but may freeze in again with cooler temperatures. Ice depth is variable; use caution when ice fishing. Sauger - Good: Anglers report lots of smaller sauger with a few nice-sized fish mixed in. Lock and Dam gates are open. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are abundant, but not very aggressive. Use light equipment, small jigs and rod tips able to detect small hits. Lots of sorting needed, but you can find some nice-sized gills. Yellow Perch - Fair: Anglers are catching a yellow perch or two when fishing for bluegill. Some anglers targeted good numbers of yellow perch in early ice, but now are only catching a few each trip. Black Crappie - Fair: A few incidental crappies are being caught when ice fishing for bluegills. Largemouth Bass - Good: Quite a few largemouth bass are being caught through the ice this year. 

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is 6.6 feet at the Fulton Lock and Dam, 10.6 feet at Camanche and 5.4 feet at LeClaire. Water temperature is around 32.5 degrees. River levels are stable. The tailwater has been ice free, but finding an open boat ramp may be difficult. Ice anglers report variable ice conditions. Sauger - Fair: Early winter catches were decent with lots of smaller sauger reported along with some nice walleye and sauger taken. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are abundant, but not very aggressive. Use light equipment, small jigs and rod tips able to detect small hits. Lots of sorting needed, but you can find some nice-sized gills. Black Crappie - Fair: A few incidental crappies are being caught when ice fishing for bluegills.

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water level is around 7.4 feet at Rock Island and is stable. The water temperature is around 33 degrees. Water clarity is good. 

Tailwaters are open, but ramps may have ice on them. Water levels are stable throughout the district. Backwater ice fishing conditions are variable; use caution, especially in snow-covered sloughs. Reported backwater ice depths are 1 to 7 inches. If you have any fishing questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.

Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 7.35 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and has been falling. Tailwater stage has fallen close to 3 feet since last weekend. As of Feb. 13th, the Marquette Street boat ramp is open. There is snow and ice on the ramp that could make lauching boats difficult. The launch and channel may freeze up with the cold temperatures in the forecast. We have not received any ice fishing or ice condition reports for this pool. Sauger - Fair: Reports of small saugers being caught in Sylvan Slough. Use jigs and minnows or troll three-way rigs with stick baits. 

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 6.24 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and has been falling. Tailwater fishing has been slow. As of Feb. 13, the ramp at Muscatine was open, but was snow and ice covered. The ramps may freeze back in with the cold temperatures in the forecast. We have not received any ice fishing or ice condition reports for this pool. 

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 7.7 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and has fallen close to 2.5 feet since last weekend. As of Feb. 11, the boat ramp at Toolsboro was open, but ramp conditions may have changed with the snow and cold temperatures in the forecast. The ramp is probably snow and ice covered; launching boats could be difficult. We have not received any ice fishing or ice condition reports for this pool.  

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 5.17 feet at Lock and Dam 18 and has been falling. Tailwater stages have fallen close to 2 feet since last weekend. We have not received any fishing or ice condition reports for this pool.

Tailwater stages have been falling this past week. Tailwater fishing has been slow. We have not received any ice condition reports this week. The falling river conditions could create some unsafe ice conditions along the shorelines. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

 

SOUTHEAST

Big Hollow Lake
The warmer weather this week, up until Feb. 13, has been working on the ice. Some thin areas had been starting to develop. Be careful, especially after this cold snap ends. Bluegill - Slow: Very few anglers have been out on the ice.

Lake Belva Deer
Ice conditions remain fairly good. Be careful about getting too close to the trees in the flooded timber. Bluegill - Slow: A few here and there kind of fishing.

Lake Darling
Ice conditions remain fairly good; there is water on top of the ice on the warmer days. Black Crappie - Slow: Number of anglers out on the ice has gone down.

Lost Grove Lake
The ice is in pretty good shape. Black Crappie - Slow: If you pick the right evening to go fishing, you can still catch them. Bluegill - Slow: Anglers are having a harder time finding bluegill.

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

 

Cedar River (La Porte City to Cedar Rapids)
Vinton area backwaters have 6 to 7 inches of ice. Bluegill - Fair: Most fish are small. White Crappie – Slow. Northern Pike - Slow: A few fish are being caught on tip-ups.

Central Park Lake
Ice thickness is 6 to 8 inches. Bluegill - Fair: Most fish are around 4-6 inches. Use jigs tipped with waxies or plastics. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Most fish are around 8-12 inches.

Central Park Pond
Ice thickness is 6 to 7 inches. Bluegill - Fair: Most fish are 5-7 inches.

Coralville Reservoir
The lake is frozen over, but the channel has poor ice; travel is not recommended. The protected areas out of the current and wind have 5 to 7 inches of ice. The lake is at normal winter pool of 683.4 feet.

Diamond Lake
Ice thickness is 4 to 8 inches. Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie - Fair: Most fish are 8-9 inches.

Green Castle Lake
Ice thickness is 6+ inches. Bluegill - Fair: Reports are better sized fish are on the west side of the lake. Black Crappie - Slow: Catches are spotty, but some 12-14 inch fish are reported.

Hannen Lake
Ice thickness is 5 to 6 inches. Bluegill – Slow.

Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
Ice thickness is around 8 inches. Reports are lots of lookers, but few biters. Bluegill – Slow. Black Crappie – Slow.

Lake Macbride
Much of the lake has 6 to 8 inches of ice; there are areas of deeper water, especially at the lower end of the lake, that may have less ice. Bluegill – Fair: Use small jigs/waxies fished over brush or rock pile. Black Crappie - Slow: The bite has been tough. Isolated brush or stumps has been best. Best bite is early and late in the day. Most success has been in 10-15 feet of water. 

Otter Creek Lake
Ice thickness is 8 to 11 inches. Bluegill - Fair: Use jigs and waxies. Black Crappie - Slow: Try jigs and waxies. Yellow Bass - Fair: Use jigs tipped with waxies or cut bait.

Pleasant Creek Lake
The lake has 4 to 8 inches of ice, depending on where you are. The west end of the lake has the best ice; the east end towards the dam has less ice. Bluegill - Fair: Some fish are being caught at the west end of the lake. Try around brush or jetties in 4-8 feet of water.

Rodgers Park Lake
Ice thickness is 5 to 6 inches. Bluegill – Fair. Largemouth Bass – Slow. 

Sand Lake
Ice thickness is extremely variable; use caution. Rainbow Trout - Fair: Fish from last year, as well as larger fish from previous years stockings, are being caught. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Union Grove Lake
Most of the lake has 6 to 8 inches of ice. The aeration system has been turned on; there is open water at the south end of the lake. Bluegill - Slow: Catch fish up to 8 inches with jigs/waxies fished in deeper brush piles mid-lake .

Always check ice thickness and use caution when venturing out. For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.

Albia Lower Reservoir
Anglers are catching some bluegill around the submerged structure. Use caution; ice thickness has been variable in the district.

Lake Miami
Few reports this week; anglers are just starting to get out now with better ice conditions. Ice conditions are variable.

Lake Sugema
Ice formed recently and is variable in thickness; use caution if venturing out. Geese are keeping areas open; be aware of these areas.

Lake Wapello
The lake iced up recently; use caution if venturing out. There is thin ice or open water out in front of the lodge area due to geese keeping the water open. Anglers are catching some bluegills.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 905.07 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. The ice is variable on the lake; use caution if venturing out. Use caution in areas inside and next to docks at the Rathbun Marina and the Honey Creek Resort as they are using deicing equipment this winter.

Red Haw Lake
Ice formed recently; use caution. Ice thickness is variable. Anglers are catching bluegill around submerged structures; sorting is needed for larger fish.

Ice thickness is variable; use caution. Lakes have about 4 inches of snow on top of the ice. 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
Tagged trout for prizes donated from JAX Outdoors, the City of Ames and local businesses can be turned in to JAX until 6 p.m. on Feb. 22. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout - Good: Catch trout 5 to 20 yards off the north and east shores of the north pit with panfish jigs and small jigging spoons tipped with waxworms.

Beaver Lake
Bluegill - Fair: Catch bluegills mid-lake in the trees. The bite has been slow during the day and best during the late afternoon and evening just before dark.

Big Creek Lake
Ice conditions are good; ice thickness is 8 to 12 inches.  Walleye - Fair: Use minnows fished still or jigging spoons. Fish mid-lake on drop-offs to the creek channel in 20 to 30 feet of water.

Don Williams Lake
Black Crappie - Slow: Use minnows or glow jigs tipped with waxworms fished at sunrise or in the late afternoon and just after dark. 

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
You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout - Good: Use panfish jigs and small jigging spoons tipped with waxworms. The good bite is fishing suspended fish out deeper.

Roberts Creek Lake
Black Crappie - Fair: Catch suspended crappies with jigging spoons tipped with minnow heads or live minnows, or glow jigs tipped with waxworms.

Ice fishing conditions in Central Iowa are good. 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)
Ice thickness is 6 inches. 1000 rainbow trout were stocked into Big Lake in January. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout - Good: Any type of small spinner or minnow under a bobber will catch rainbow trout.

Lake Anita
Anglers report 7 to 10 inches of ice on most of the lake. Bluegill - Slow: A few bluegills are being caught south of the campground. Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers report early and late in the day is best for 9 inch black crappies.

Lake Manawa
Ice is variable. Some activity is taking place around the dredge cuts. Black Crappie - Slow: A few reports of fair crappie fishing in the dredge cuts late in the afternoon.

Littlefield Lake
Littlefield has a consistent 10 inches of ice. Bluegill - Fair: Anglers are finding bluegills in the cedar tree piles. Sorting is needed for larger fish.

Orient Lake
Anglers report 8 inches of ice. Fall fisheries surveys showed good numbers of crappies and bluegills. Black Crappie - Fair: The best bite is early and late for 9 to 12 inch black crappie. Bluegill - Fair: Use waxworms fished around the cedar tree piles. Fish average 8 inches. Yellow Perch - Fair:  Catch yellow perch early in the morning. Pink color jigs or spoon work best with waxworms. Fish are 8 to 12 inches. 

Prairie Rose Lake
Ice thickness is 10 inches. Most of the fishing activity is east of the beach on the north side of the lake. Bluegill - Slow: A few large bluegills are being picked up east of the beach around the rock piles.

Ice thickness is 4 to 10 inches in the Southwest District. Use caution in the southern part of the district. For more information call the SW District Office at 712-769-2587.

Green Valley Lake
Variable ice thickness up to 8 inches. Black Crappie - Good: Catch crappie up to 9 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm or minnow fished near cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill - Fair: Catch bluegill up to 7.5 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished near cedar tree brush piles.

Lake Icaria
Variable ice conditions up to 7 inches. Areas of open water near the dam. Black Crappie - Slow: Catch crappies up to 10 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm or minnow fished along cedar tree brush piles. Walleye - Slow: Try jigs tipped with a minnow fished along the roadbed for walleye of all sizes.

Little River Watershed Lake
Ice thickness is variable up to 7 inches. Areas of open water along the campground and main ramp areas.

Three Mile Lake
Variable ice thickness up to 7 inches. Area of open water near the main campground point. Bluegill - Slow: Catch bluegill up to 8 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished along the roadbed. Walleye - Fair: Try minnows fished along the roadbed in the early morning for walleye of all sizes. 

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
Variable ice thickness up to 8 inches. Bluegill - Fair: Catch bluegill up to 8.5 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm fished along the roadbed or cedar tree brush piles. Black Crappie - Slow: Catch crappie up to 10 inches with jigs tipped with a waxworm or minnow fished along the roadbed or cedar tree brush piles. Walleye - Slow: Try jigs tipped with a minnow fished along the roadbed for walleye of all sizes.

Ice conditions are variable for the Mount Ayr district lakes, ranging from 4 to 8 inches. Check ice thickness often when venturing out. Geese are keeping some areas of open water at some district lakes.

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NORTHWEST

Black Hawk Lake
Courtesy docks are in at all boat ramps. Anglers are catching panfish in Town Bay using crawlers and minnows. Yellow Perch - Fair: Anglers are catching perch in Town Bay. Some sorting is needed. Bluegill - Fair: Anglers are catching bluegill in Town Bay.

North Raccoon River (above State Highway 175 bridge near Auburn)
Walleye fishing has been productive this week, but will likely slow down with rising water levels this weekend. Walleye - Fair: Walleye fishing has been productive. Target walleye in areas below riffles and in deeper pools.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Fishing has been productive this week. Storm Lake has a daily limit of 3 walleye and all 17- to 22-inch walleye must be released; and no more than one walleye longer than 22 inches may be taken per day. Black Crappie - Fair: Use crawlers and minnows on a small jig fished from shore and in the marina. Walleye - Fair: Walleye fishing has been productive. Anglers have had luck from shore and in the marina. Yellow Perch – Fair. Channel Catfish - Fair: Target catfish from shore using cut bait fished on the bottom.

For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.

Clear Lake
The main lake is about 70 percent open. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use a dead chub fished on the bottom. Walleye - Slow: Wader fishing is picking up. Yellow Bass – Fair.

Lower Pine Lake
Lower Pine Lake is free of ice. The courtesy dock is in at the boat ramp. No fishing activity to report.

Upper Pine Lake
Upper Pine Lake is mostly free of icd. The courtesy dock is in at the boat ramp. No fishing activity to report.

Winnebago River
Northern Pike - Fair: Northern pike are being caught below the dams.

Ice conditions have deteriorated with the warm temperatures. Ice fishing is not recommended. Area Rivers are up, but the fishing should improve as water levels drop. For information on the lakes and rivers in north central Iowa, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517. 

Center Lake
The aeration system has been turned off. Much of the lake ice has melted, making ice fishing near impossible. But there is still enough ice intact to make boat navigation difficult.

East Okoboji Lake
The Walleye Season is closed. Much of the lake ice has melted, making ice fishing near impossible. There is still enough ice intact to make boat navigation difficult, with only a couple available boat ramps. 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. Yellow Perch – Fair. Black Crappie – Good. Yellow Bass – Fair.

Ingham Lake
The aeration system has been turned off. Much of the lake ice has melted, making ice fishing near impossible. There is still enough ice intact to make boat navigation difficult. 

Lost Island Lake
Much of the lake ice has melted, making ice fishing near impossible. There is still enough ice intact to make boat navigation difficult.  Yellow Perch – Fair. Walleye – Fair.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
The aeration system has been turned off. Much of the lake ice has melted, making ice fishing near impossible.There is still enough ice intact to make boat navigation difficult.

Spirit Lake
The Walleye Season is closed. Much of the lake ice has melted, making ice fishing near impossible.There is still enough ice intact to make boat navigation difficult, with only a couple available boat ramps. 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 near Minniwaukon. Best bite is early and late. Be prepared to move around until you get on top of them. Black Crappie – Fair.

Trumbull Lake
Much of the lake ice has melted, making ice fishing near impossible.There is still enough ice intact to make boat navigation difficult. Yellow Perch - Fair: Size quality is outstanding with some sorting. Use jigs and minnows or wigglers in the main lake.

West Okoboji Lake
The Walleye Season is closed. Much of the lake ice has melted, making ice fishing near impossible.There is still enough ice intact to make boat navigation difficult, with minimal available boat ramps. Bluegill - Good: Little Emerson Bay is producing a few nice bluegills. Sorting is needed. 

Willow Creek
Willow Creek was stocked on Feb. 21st for the Osceola County Trout Fest. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Fair.

The Walleye Season is closed for the Iowa Great Lakes. Ice conditions have deteriorated significantly and made ice fishing near impossible. Many area lakes have opened up significantly, allowing for open water fishing in certain areas.Aeration systems at Center Lake, Silver Lake (near Lake Park), and Ingham Lake have been turned off. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.

 

NORTHEAST

Cedar River (above Nashua)
The Cedar River has stabilized and cleared. Conditions may change, depending on precipitation amounts north over the next few days. Walleye - Good: Anglers using crawlers and minnows are doing well below dams. Anglers are catching a good number of small walleye mixed with keeper-size. Channel Catfish - Good: With ice-out, find windward shores to fish. Use chunks of dead chubs or other dead fish. 

Decorah District Streams
Gravel roads are soft as the frost goes out. Stream clarity is improving. Trout stream stocking start the week of April 1.All trout stream stockings will be unannounced due to COVID-19 precautions. Get some fresh air and explore a new stream. Hatchery grounds are open to the public, but feeders and other conveniences are temporarily closed for prevention precautions. Brook Trout - Good: Midges and small mayflies are hatching on warmer sunny days. Use flies imitating insects hatching. Brown Trout - Excellent: Off-color water will turn brown trout on. Strong midge hatches are occurring. Feathered spinner baits work well when fished through pools. Use a fly imitating a midge emerging from its exoskeleton. Rainbow Trout - Fair:: With muddy water, use a worm or cheese floated through a pool under a bobber. Use an ultra-light pole and reel for fun action. 

Lake Hendricks
Ice fishing is not recommended. Ice conditions are deteriorating fast.

Lake Meyer
Ice fishing is not recommended. Ice has totally pulled away from the shore.

Turkey River (above Clermont)
Water levels are stabilizing and clarity is improving. Water temperatures are in the mid 40's. Walleye - Good: Use worms or minnows fished below dams or other impoundments.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Water levels are stabilized and clarity is improving. Walleye - Good: Find fish below dams as water warms. Use worms and minnows; also try flashy spoons and spinners.

Volga Lake
Ice fishing is not recommended. Ice has pulled away from the shore. Water is pooled on top of the ice.

Area rivers have stabilized and clarity is improving. Precipitation forecast for this weekend may change conditions. Air temperatures will fall through the weekend. For current fishing information, please call the Chuck Gipp Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
Reports of anglers catching a few walleye, smallmouth bass and channel catfish on the Cedar River. Catfish fishing is really good above the dam in Waverly. Walleye - Fair: Cast and retrieve live or artificial baits along eddies and current breaks. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Cast and retrieve live or artificial baits along eddies, current breaks and areas of rip-rap banks and shores. Channel Catfish - Good: Try fishing dead minnows or cut baits along the seams or edges of current breaks in two to four feet of water.

Manchester District Streams
There has been recent angler activity on Spring Branch Creek; this is a special regulation trout stream.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
Reports of anglers catching walleye on the Maquoketa River. Walleye - Fair: Cast and retrieve live or artificial baits along eddies and current breaks.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
We didn’t received any information about fishing on the Shell Rock River this week. Walleye - No Report: Cast and retrieve live or artificial baits along eddies and current breaks.

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
Good reports a week ago on the Wapsipinicon River for northern pike. Only a few reports of walleye being caught. Northern Pike - Good: Float live chubs or shiners under a bobber in slack water areas off of main current. Try also bucktail spinners or other spinner baits. Walleye - Fair: Cast and retrieve live or artificial baits along eddies and current breaks.

It’s a great time to distance yourself from others by getting outdoors and supporting your local bait shop owners. Interior rivers are up, but are in respectable condition. Reports of anglers catching walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass and channel catfish. Trout streams will be hit-and-miss with the expected rainfall over the coming week. 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 11.3 feet and is expected to reach 13 feet this week. Open water fishing below the dams will be a challenge with swift currents. Sauger - Fair: Try a jig tipped with a minnow in the tailwaters of the Lock & Dam. Walleye - Fair: Walleye are moving up to the dams; use jigs tipped with a minnow. Northern Pike - Fair: Northern pike are going on a feed frenzy to prepare for spawning. Fish the warmer shallows in backwaters. Yellow Perch - Good: Usd a small piece of crawler fished from shore.

Mississippi River Pool 10
River level at Lyxnville has risen to 21 feet and will hit 23 feet this week. Open water fishing below the dams will be a challenge with swift currents. Sauger - Fair: Try a jig tipped with a minnow in the tailwaters of the Lock & Dam. Walleye - Fair: Walleye are moving up to the dams; use jigs tipped with a minnow. Northern Pike - Fair: Northern pike are going on a feed frenzy to prepare for spawning. Fish the warmer shallows in backwaters.Yellow Perch - Good: Usd a small piece of crawler fished from shore.

Mississippi River Pool 11
River level at Guttenberg has risen to 12.5 feet and is expected to reach 15 feet this week. Open water fishing below the dams will be a challenge with swift currents. Sauger - Fair: Try a jig tipped with a minnow in the tailwaters of the Lock & Dam. Walleye - Fair: Walleye are moving up to the dams; use jigs tipped with a minnow. Northern Pike - Fair: Northern pike are going on a feed frenzy to prepare for spawning. Fish the warmer shallows in backwaters. Yellow Perch - Good: Usd a small piece of crawler fished from shore.

Upper Mississippi River levels are still rising this week. Ice has gone out quickly, with rising flood waters. Locks are wide open. Anglers are open water fishing at the dams; expect high water, debris and swift current. Water temperature is near 40 degrees.

 

Mississippi River Pool 12
The water level is 12.4 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and 14.4 feet at the RR bridge. River levels at Dubuque are expected to rise to action and moderate flood stages. The water temperature is 42 degrees. Water clarity is still decent. Sauger - Good: It was a good spring bite with anglers reporting all sizes of sauger being taken. Water is getting higher; anglers are concentrating more to toward the shorelines away from the strongest currents. Walleye - Good: Lots of nice slot walleyes reported this spring; the fishery looks to be very healthy. Floating debris is starting to be an issue at times with anglers pulling crankbaits. Northern Pike - Good: Some northern pike are being taken using large spinners and cut bait in backwater areas. Pike are about to spawn in the Mississippi River.

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water level is 13 feet at the Bellevue Lock and Dam and is rising. The water temperature is 42 degrees. Water clarity is good. The DNR boat ramp at Bellevue is difficult to launch from due to high water levels. Sauger - Good: Angler catches have been a mixed bag. Some anglers report nice-sized sauger and walleye. Others report great numbers of fish, but nearly all are small. Walleye - Good:  Lots of nice slot walleyes reported this spring; the fishery looks to be very healthy. Floating debris is starting to be an issue at times with anglers pulling crankbaits. Paddlefish - Fair: Water levels are starting to get high, making it difficult to find paddlefish in the stronger currents. See page 11 of the Iowa Fishing Regulations for paddlefish regulations.

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level is 12.2 feet at the Fulton Lock and Dam, 14.8 feet at Camanche and 8.5 feet at LeClaire. Water temperature is around 42 degrees. River levels are rising and will reach action and moderate flood stages by the end of the week. Sauger - Fair:It was a good spring bite with anglers reporting all sizes of sauger being taken. Water is getting higher; anglers are concentrating more to toward the shorelines away from the strongest currents. Paddlefish - Fair: Some paddlefish were taken this week, despite the higher water levels. Strong current flow is limiting snagging of paddlefish. See page 11 of the Iowa Fishing Regulations for paddlefish regulations. Walleye - Good: Anglers are using a variety of tactics to find nice walleye; most are doing best on a simple jig and minnow. Lots of nice slot walleyes reported this spring; the fishery looks to be very healthy. Floating debris is starting to be an issue at times with anglers pulling crankbaits. 

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water level is around 12.6 feet at Rock Island and is rising. The water temperature is around 43 degrees. Water is stained.  

Flooding is returning to the district. Water levels are rising with recent rains and thaw. Part of the district will experience moderate flooding by the end of the week. If you have any fishing questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.

Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 12.59 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and is rising. Tailwater stage is forecast to reach 15 feet by Monday. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 15. Docks have been pulled out of the water at the Marquette St boat ramp. We have not received any fishing report information for this pool.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 11.85 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is rising. Tailwater stage is forecast to reach 14.7 feet by next Wednesday. The gates are out of the water at the Lock and Dam. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 16. River stage is 13.53 feet at Muscatine and is forecast to reach 16 feet by Monday. Flood stage is 16 feet at Muscatine. The ramp at Big Timber is closed. We have not received any fishing report information for this pool.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 13.33 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and is rising. Tailwater stage is forecast to reach 15 feet by Monday and 16 feet by Wednesday. Flood stage is 15 feet at Lock and Dam 17. The gates are out of the water at the Lock and Dam. River stage is 13.13 feet at Keithsburg; flood stage is 14 feet. The Toolsboro ramp is closed due to high water. We have not received any tailwater fishing reports for this pool this week.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 9.44 feet at Lock and Dam 18 and is rising. Tailwater stage is forecast to reach 10.1 feet by Saturday and 11.7 feet by Wednesday. Flood stage is 10 feet at Lock and Dam 18. River stage is 14.51 feet at Burlington; flood stage is 15 feet. River stage Madison is 527.67 feet at Fort; flood stage is 528 feet. We have not received any fishing reports or ramp condition reports for this pool.

Current forecasts have the river reaching flood stage over the weekend or by early next week. Main channel water temperature is around 41-42 degrees. Some boat ramps have closed due to the high water. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

 

SOUTHEAST

Big Hollow Lake 
Open water. The docks are in at the boat ramps. Channel Catfish - No Report: It’s a good time to fish for catfish along the face of the dam. Largemouth Bass - No Report: Start at the lower end of the lake on the north side where the water is more open to the sunlight and work the points that stick out into the lake.

Lake Belva Deer
Ice free. Docks are always in. Largemouth Bass - No Report: A good place to try for early season bass is along the north side shorelines at the upper end of the lake where there is a rocky bottom.

Lake Darling
Open water. Warm nights and the rain have raised the water temperature to 46 degrees. Docks at ramps are not in yet. Channel Catfish - No Report: Ice-out is a good time to try for catfish. Use cut bait along the rocks with the wind blowing into them. Largemouth Bass - Fair: One of the few boats out caught a few bass while fishing the bays where the wind was blowing warm water into them.

Lake Darling District Farm Ponds
A little over 2.5 inches of rain in the last week has made a lot of these ponds muddy, but that helps keep the lake clearer.

Lost Grove Lake
Open water. Boat docks at the ramps won't be in for a while yet. Channel Catfish - No Report: It’s a good time to fish for catfish along the face of the dam as they look for any fish that didn’t make it through the winter.

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

 

Coralville Reservoir
The Corps has started to lower the lake to spring pool. As of March 19, the lake level is 680.5 feet. It is predicted to reach spring pool of 679.5 feet on April 1. Boating is not recommended for most above Lake Macbride ramp at spring pool. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use cut bait around the 380/965 bridges. Shallow windblown bays can also be good.

Diamond Lake
The dock/kayak launch are in. Black Crappie - Slow: A few fish have been caught off the jetties. Try small jigs tipped with worms or waxworms.

Lake Macbride
Surface temperatures are in the low 40's. The docks will be put in for the first weekend in April. Black Crappie - Slow: A few fish are being caught east of the causeway, especially on warmer days. Channel Catfish - Slow: Some fish have been caught on dead shad in the upper ends of the lake. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Slow: Fish windblown banks where shad may be found. Muskellunge - Slow: Try bass-sized jerk baits.

Pleasant Creek Lake
Some anglers have been out. No fishing reports are available.

For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.

Lake Miami
Anglers are catching some largemouth bass along the shore.

Lake Sugema
Use nightcrawlers to catch catfish.

Lake Wapello
Catch catfish with nightcrawlers or cut bait.

Ottumwa Park Pond South (Trout Pond)
The trout event for Saturday, March 28th has been cancelled due to concerns of COVID-19. Trout will still be stocked this spring, but it will be unannounced to reduce crowd size.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 904.56 msl. Normal operating elevation is 904.0 msl. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels, so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body. Channel Catfish - Good: Use nightcrawlers on windblown shores. 

Red Haw Lake
Anglers are catching largemouth bass along the shore. The docks have been put in.

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

Big Creek Lake
Walleye - Fair: Catch walleyes when water temperatures warm into the mid to upper 40s in late March to early April. Use jigs tipped with plastics or live minnows in the evenings along rocky shores. Target the face of the dam, the first few hundred yards of the canal leading to the spillway and the East Boat ramp shore.

Boone District Farm Ponds
Black Crappie - Fair: Many of the community fishing ponds spread throughout the Des Moines Metro will offer a good early season crappie, bluegill and bass bite; they warm faster than the larger lakes. Use live bait under floats or slowly retrieve twister tail and swimbaits. If a pond has any rock shore, try there first. Fish Local signs mark which ponds are open to public fishing.

Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)
Walleye - Fair: March through April is a good time to target walleye and northern pike below the dams and mouths of creeks. Use jigs tipped with twister tails, shad, and shiner imitating swimbaits or live minnows. 

For more information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, call Ben Dodd at 641-891-3795 or Andy Otting at 515-204-5885.

Greenfield Lake
Greenfield is a good lake to catch ice-out catfish. It also gives anglers a chance to catch a trophy-size channel catfish. Channel Catfish - No Report: Fish shad sides on the wind-blown shore, especially in the upper end of the lake where water warms sooner.

Lake Anita
Lake Anita can provide good fishing this time of year. Fish will move into the upper end of the lake as water temperatures warm. Black Crappie - Slow: Early crappie fishing can be very good on warm sunny days behind the pontoon boats. Cast a minnow two feet under a bobber with a slow retrieve.

Lake Manawa
It’s time to target channel catfish at Lake Manawa. Channel Catfish - Good: Fish the windblown shores with shad sides or cut bait to catch channel catfish of all sizes.

For more information call the SW District Office at 712-769-2587.

Three Mile Lake
Walleye - Slow: Use jigs tipped with live bait fished near main lake points for walleyes up to 22 inches.

Lakes are 100% ice free. Water temperature in most Mount Ayr district lakes is in the mid to upper 40's. For more information, contact the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.

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