The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For current information, contact the district fisheries office at the phone number listed at the end of each district report.
Yellow Smoke Park Lake
Yellow Smoke has about 7 inches of good, clear ice. Use caution when near the handicapped accessible dock because slush pockets have formed near it. The water is extremely clear. Bluegill - Good: The few anglers that are fishing are doing well for bluegill. The bite turns on at 4:30 p.m. Bluegills as large as 10 1/8 inches are being caught. Try fishing in 20 feet of water in the submerged trees. Use very light line and tackle. Largemouth Bass - Fair: A number of 15 to 16-inch bass are being caught while bluegill fishing.
Crawford Creek Impoundment
There is about 9 to 10 inches of ice on Crawford Creek. Some ice shacks have been out, but there have only been a few reports of anglers catching some decent bluegill.
Brushy Creek Lake
Water clarity at Brushy Creek is excellent. Ice conditions in the upper end are improving, but ice on main lake is still unsafe. Bluegill - Slow: Crappie - Slow: Yellow Perch - Fair: Walleye - Slow:
Bacon Creek Lake
About 1,500 rainbow trout were stocked into Bacon Creek on Nov. 10. The next stocking is scheduled for Jan. 8, with Jan. 22 as the snow date. Iowa residents and nonresidents who are required to have a fishing license must pay the Trout Fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout - Excellent: Rainbow trout bite readily off the stocking truck. Use small, flashy lures with a piece of bait about 5 feet below the ice.
Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Ice thickness on Storm Lake is around 3 to 4 inches out in the main basin with areas of open water. Ice is approaching 15 inches thick near the inlet where most of the fishing is taking place. White Bass - Good: Large white bass are being caught by anglers targeting walleye. There is fast action for the white bass when schools move through and then it slows down until another big school comes by. Crappie - Fair: Some nice sized crappie are being caught around the inlet area. Yellow Perch - Slow: Anglers pick up yellow perch on occasion when fishing walleye. Not a lot of perch get caught, but the ones that do are 9 to 11 inches. Walleye - Good: Anglers have been targeting the inlet and Frank Starr Park. A live minnow fished right off the bottom has been working well, or try using a super duper and a minnow head. Evenings and mornings have been the best. Daily bag limit at Storm Lake is 3 walleye: all 17 to 22 inch walleye must be immediately released, only one walleye over 22 inches may be kept.
North Twin Lake
Some permanent ice shacks are now out on North Twin Lake.
Ice at Swan Lake was about 6 inches thick as of last week.
Black Hawk Lake
There is about 10 inches of good, clear ice on Black Hawk Lake. The winter aeration system will begin operation soon creating pockets of open water and thin ice in the Town Bay area. Yellow Perch - Slow: An occasional perch is caught while walleye fishing. The perch are about 8 inches long. Walleye - Fair: At times during the evening the action can be real fast, with the majority of fish being sub-legal. A super duper with a minnow head has worked well. Target the old dredge cuts, rock piles off of Shotgun Hill and Crescent Park, and the deep hole near Ice House Point. On Black Hawk Lake walleye must be at least 15 inches in length to keep and only three per day may be kept.
There was 3 to 4 inches of ice as of last week.
Snyder Bend Lake
Snyder Bend had open water areas and 3 to 4 inches of ice in other areas as of last week. Snyder Bend has warm water flowing into from a nearby power plant, and waterfowl are keeping the water open in other areas. Use caution on Snyder Bend.
Ice was 3 to 4 inches thick as of last week.
Badger Lake had 6 to 8 inches of ice as of last week. Bluegill - Fair: Anglers are catching decent bluegills on wax worms in 8 to 10 feet of water.
For more information on the lakes and rivers in this area contact Ben Wallace or Don Herrig at the Black Hawk Fish Management Office in Lake View at 712-657-2638.
Ice thickness is 9 to 12 inches. Crappies are biting on minnows fished near structure.
Ice thickness is 9 to 12 inches. Bluegills are biting in the late afternoon on wax worms.
Ice thickness is 7 to 9 inches. Bluegills are biting in the late afternoon on wax worms.
Ice thickness is 9 to 13 inches. Yellow bass fishing is fair in the Little lake. Walleye fishing is slow.
Ice thickness is 8 to 10 inches. Yellow perch are biting on small jigs tipped with wax worms.
Little Wall Lake
Ice thickness is 8 to10 inches. Bluegills and crappies are biting on wax worms.
Ice thickness is 6 to 11 inches. A few yellow perch and crappies are being caught.
Silver Lake (Worth)
Ice thickness is 8 to 12 inches.
Ice thickness is 7 to 10 inches. Yellow perch are biting on jigs tipped with wax worms.
Ice thickness is 8 to 10 inches. Yellow perch are biting on wax worms.
For more information on fishing in the area lakes and rivers, call the Clear Lake fisheries office at 641-357-3517.
Crappie - Fair: Fish around brush piles with small jigs tipped with wax worms. Yellow Perch - Slow: Fish near brush piles with wax worms. It has been reported that most of the perch being caught are small.
Big Spirit Lake
Yellow Perch - Fair: Fish are being caught on the main lake using small ice jigs tipped with wigglers near Marble Beach, Buffalo Run, and between Big Stoney and Cottonwood points. Walleye - Good: Fish rock bars or weed lines at sunrise or sunset with jigging lures tipped with a minnow head and dead sticking with a minnow on a small hook below a split shot.
East Okoboji Lake
Walleye - Fair: Use jigging lures tipped with a minnow near Parks Marina.
West Okoboji Lake
Northern Pike - Fair: Use tip ups baited with large baitfish or jig using large jigging lures. Bluegill - Good: Fish in the bays with small ice jigs tipped with wax worms/wigglers or plastics. Yellow Perch - Fair: Fish the outside edges of weed beds in ~12 feet of water with plastics or live bait near Pocahontas and Eagle points. Walleye - Slow: A few fish are being caught along drop offs with perch colored jigging lures.
Five Island Lake
Walleye - Slow: A few fish have been reported fishing at sunset with jigging lures tipped with a whole minnow or just a minnow head.
Yellow Perch - Fair: Use small jigging lures tipped with a minnow.
Northern Pike - Fair: Pike are being caught while fishing for perch. Yellow Perch - Fair: Use small minnows on jigs. Fish in the 9-10-inch range are being reported while fishing in 3’-4’ of water.
Silver Lake (Palo Alto)
Yellow Perch - Fair: Use small minnows or small ice jigs tipped with wax worms.
Yellow Perch - Fair: Use small jigging lures tipped with a small minnow.
On Dec. 18, Scharnberg Park 5 miles west of Spencer on Highway B24 received the first of two trout stocking this winter. Please refer to the Iowa Fishing Regulations Booklet or the Iowa DNR website for trout stamp requirements. Rainbow Trout - Good: Trout anglers at other lakes in Iowa have reported great success using jigging spoons tipped with wax worms or synthetic trout baits.
Ice conditions are variable on area lakes. Extreme caution should be used when ever going out onto the ice. For more fishing information on the Spirit Lake area call (712)-336-1840.
There have been a few people angling on the lake but the bite has been slow. Anglers have been fishing close to shore. Bluegill - No Report: Largemouth Bass - No Report: Crappie - No Report:
Ice depths are running about 7 inches under at least 7 inches of snow. Be careful around the aerator. There have been quite a few anglers out and most are using wax worms. Crappie - Good: Crappies are biting on jigs tipped with a wax worm.
The lake is slowly making ice. Use caution when going out. Anglers have been out but the bite isn’t on, yet.
Charles City Impoundment
We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.
Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.
Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.
Cedar River (above Nashua)
A few people have been ice fishing in some of the bays above the Nashua impoundment and are catching fish. The farm ponds in the area have been hoppin’ but please remember to get permission from the landowners. Bluegill - Good: Try a minnow on an ice fishing jig. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: A few have been caught while angling for bluegill and crappies. Crappie - Good: Crappies are biting on jigs tipped with a minnow. Walleye - Fair: Anglers have been catching a few below the dam at Nashua.
Decorah District Streams
Trout are being taken in the Decorah area with wooly bugger patterns. Bright flies with white, yellow or red materials are good for rainbows and brookies. Dark olive, brown or black colors have attracted brown trout. Mayfly hatches have been sparse. Urban ponds are now being stocked, weather permitting. For information on when and where, please call the trout stocking number at 563-927-5736 or visit our website at http://www.iowadnr.gov/fish/news/stockrep/urban.html.
Ice and snow depths vary from lake to lake. Please use caution when going out on the ice. Trout streams continue to provide good action. For more information about a specific stream or river, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.
Silver Lake (Delaware)
Silver Lake ice conditions do vary but most places have around 4-5 inches of good ice. Some fishing activity and reports have been observed but caution is advised. Size range of bluegill does vary, sorting may be required. An occasional crappie has been reported as well. Bluegill - Fair: Move around often to locate fish using small jigs tipped with a wax worm off of the bottom.
Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Ice conditions are reported as 4 to 5 inches of good, clear ice. Casey Lake is ready for ice fishing and has received some light pressure. Anglers have been catching bluegill and yellow perch. Bluegill - Good: Try small ice jigs tipped with a wax worm off of the bottom around structure from the middle of the lake and east towards the dam. Yellow Perch - Fair: Concentrate fishing around structure, best times for perch have been during early morning or late evening hours.
Big Woods Lake
Fishing has been fair for bluegill and crappie. Try fishing the north side of the lake around recently placed fish structure off of the jetties. Ice conditions may vary widely on this large water body, use extreme caution when venturing out. Bluegill - Fair: Try numerous small ice fishing jigs and a variety of colors tipped with a wax worm. Crappie - Fair: Locate structure and find crappie suspended in and around the structure at various depths.
Brinker Lake is a deep lake with high wind-fetch, which slows ice formation. Brinker is now iced over but extreme caution is still advised near the middle/ deeper portion of the lake. Anglers have been concentrating on the bay area west of Hwy. 218 Bridge. Bluegill - Fair: Move around often to locate fish using small jigs tipped with a wax worm off of the bottom. Crappie - Fair: Move around often to locate fish. Try small jigs tipped with a wax worm or small minnow at various depths for suspended fish.
George Wyth Lake
Ice conditions are reported at 5 inches of good ice. Wyth Lake is ready for ice-fishing and a good season is anticipated based on fish population surveys. Caution is advised until ice thickness increases. Bluegill - Fair: Try numerous small ice fishing jigs and a variety of colors tipped with a wax worm. Crappie - Fair: Locate structure and find crappie suspended in and around the structure at various depths.
Avenue of the Saints Pond
We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week. Bluegill - Good: Try numerous small ice fishing jigs and a variety of colors tipped with a wax worm. Crappie - Fair: Try locating cover and fishing various depths with minnow or wax worm under a bobber.
Sweet Marsh Reservoir
There have been reports of anglers catching both bluegill and crappie on Sweet Marsh. Bluegill - Fair: Try numerous small ice fishing jigs and a variety of colors tipped with a wax worm. Crappie - Fair: Try numerous small ice fishing jigs and a variety of colors tipped with a wax worm or small crappie minnow.
We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week. Bluegill - Fair: Try numerous small ice fishing jigs and a variety of colors tipped with a wax worm around structure.
Ice fishing conditions continue to improve in northeast Iowa with the recent below freezing temperatures. Most reports have ice conditions ranging from a thickness of 4 to 8 inches of good ice. Trout streams remain in excellent condition and hold good numbers of trout throughout the winter months. For further information contact the district office in Manchester at 563-927-3276.
Mississippi River Pool 9
Ice depth generally 8 to 10 inches but caution should be used in areas that have current or are insulated by deep snow. Bluegill - Good: Good catches in Minnesota Slough by New Albin, Shore Slough by Lansing has slowed a bit, but fish still being caught. Yellow Perch - Fair: A few nice perch reported from Shore Slough and Minnesota Slough.
Mississippi River Pool 10
Ice depth generally is 8 to 10 inches but caution should be used in areas that have current or are insulated by deep snow. In the Sny Magill area, it is safe to cross over into Norwegian but is still unsafe to walk to Methodist Lake. Bluegill - Good: Good catches of bluegills reported near Ambrough Slough by Prairie Du Chien, and decent catches in Sandbar Slough in the Sny Magill area. Bussey Lake has slowed a bit. Crappie - Fair: A few nice crappies in Bussey but fishing has slowed. A few nice crappies in Sandbar Slough. Yellow Perch - Fair: Some nice perch reported from sloughs in the Prairie Du Chien area and a few in Bussey Lake. Sauger - Slow: The tail waters still have a lot of current due to the high water going into the winter. This has made fishing for sauger difficult as they do not appear to be in their normal winter locations.
Mississippi River Pool 11
Ice depth generally 8-10 inches but caution should be used in areas that have current or are insulated by deep snow. The Guttenberg city boat ramp is not currently blocked with ice and anglers can back a boat in but it may be tricky. Bluegill - Good: Decent catches in the marina at Mud Lake and in Zollicoffers in lower Pool 11 but has slowed a bit and in Sunfish Lake on the Wisconsin side as well. Crappie - Slow: A few nice crappies in Zollicoffer and Sunfish Lake. Yellow Perch - Fair: A few nice perch in Zollicoffers and Sunfish Lake. Sauger - Slow: Although anglers can access the tail waters of lock and dam 10 through the city ramp in Guttenberg, fishing reports have been slow. Winter water levels are very high and current is stronger than many winter anglers are accustomed. The DNR fish hatchery ramp is completely covered with ice. Walleye - Slow: Although anglers can access the tail waters of lock and dam 10 through the city ramp in Guttenberg, fishing reports have been slow.
Generally good ice conditions but avoid flowing sloughs and large snow covered areas as snow insulates the ice preventing complete freezing. Ice thickness in many areas is 8 to 10 inches, but caution should be used as heavy snows insulate the ice and some thawing may make unsafe ice conditions in areas that have current.
Mississippi River Pool 16
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 7.14 feet. The Marquette St. boat ramp is currently being reported as open as of Dec. 23. Ramp conditions could change. Anglers should check ramp conditions before backing down. Some panfish are being caught through the ice in Sunset Marina. Bluegill - Fair: There are reports of some bluegills being caught through the ice on wax worms in Sunset Marina. The bite has been the best early in the morning and right before dark. Crappie - Slow: Crappie fishing in Sunset Marina has slowed down. Sauger - Fair: Some saugers are being caught in Sylvan Slough on jigs and minnows or pulling three-way rigs with floating Rapalas or minnows. Most of the saugers being caught are on the small side.
Mississippi River Pool 17
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 6.05 feet. As of Dec. 23, the furthest upstream boat ramp in Muscatine has one lane open for launching boats. There is some ice on the ramp that could make launching difficult. Big Timber has around 4 to 5 inches of ice in the slough along the parking area. There are some areas that look like there is some standing water or melted snow on the ice. Ice conditions could be more variable out in the main part of Big Timber so anglers should use caution. Bluegill - Fair: Anglers are catching some bluegills in the backwaters on small jigs and wax worms. Anglers not familiar with Big Timber are advised to stay off the ice. Sauger - No Report: We have received no information on tail water fishing for saugers.
Mississippi River Pool 18
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 7.84 feet. As of Dec. 23, the Toolesboro ramp is being reported as open. Ramp conditions could change. There are reports of some ice on the bottom of the ramp that could make launching boats difficult. Ice anglers have been catching some panfish in the backwaters. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are being caught in the backwaters on small ice jigs and wax worms. Crappie - Fair: Crappies are being caught in the backwaters using minnows. Sauger - Fair: A few saugers are being picked up in the tail waters on jigs and minnows or on jigs and plastics.
Mississippi River Pool 19
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 4.68 feet. As of Dec. 23, anglers have been able to launch boats to access the tail waters. Ramp conditions could change. The ramp has a ridge of ice on the end of it that may make pulling trailers in and out difficult. Most area ice fishing reports are coming from farm ponds.
Pools 16-19: River levels are still around 2 feet higher than normal. There have been some reports of tail water fishing for walleye and saugers. Some panfish are being caught through the ice in the backwaters. Anglers should use caution when ice fishing in the backwaters. For more fishing information on Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.
Unsafe ice conditions. The ice is still too thin to walk on.
Lake Belva Deer
Ice conditions are good. Once it froze over, the ice formed fast. Most areas have about 7 inches. Anglers started fishing last weekend. Bluegill - Good: Anglers are concentrated in the area around the campground boat ramp. Fishing has been the best in the early morning hours as usual.
Lake of the Hills
Angling pressure has picked up with the improving ice conditions. Use caution and drill test holes. STAY AWAY FROM THE BOATHOUSE WHERE THE AERATOR IS KEEPING THE WATER OPEN AROUND THE BOAT DOCK. Rainbow Trout - Good: Anglers are picking up more than a few trout when they are fishing for panfish. Bluegill - Good: Try the around the brush piles. Most anglers are catching them on ice fishing jigs tipped with wax worms. Crappie - Good: Anglers are catching them around the brush piles.
Ice is about 8 inches thick. Bluegill - Good: Fishing remains good. Fish around the numerous brush piles that are in the pond in 10 to 15 feet of water. Try a yellow teardrop jig tipped with a wax worm.
Lake Darling District Farm Ponds
Most of the smaller ponds now have about 8 inches of ice. Bluegill - Good: Try out around the habitat in the deeper water and fish close to the bottom.
For more information on the above lakes call the Lake Darling Fisheries office at 319-694-2430.
We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.
Rodgers Park Lake
We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.
Anglers have been fishing the lake but no ice or fishing reports are available.
Kent Park Lake
Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills were being caught around brush last week.
Most areas have 6 inches of ice or more. Some areas that are deeper or last to freeze may have less, so still use caution. Bluegill - Good: Any type of structure seems to be holding bluegills. Size is mediocre. Crappie - Fair: Fish over brush in 10 to 20 feet of water. Nice sized fish are available.
Pleasant Creek Lake
Use caution on the main lake, but the bays should have 6 inches of ice. Crappie - Fair: Yellow Perch - Fair:
Ice fishing is still not recommended due to variable ice conditions.
Otter Creek Lake
Anglers are now fishing here. Use caution when venturing out as geese had kept an open spot near the beach up until 12/19.
Union Grove Lake
The aeration system was started up on Dec. 16, so be aware of open water down towards the dam. There are “Thin Ice” signs surrounding the vicinity. There is about 8 inches of ice on the rest of the lake. Bluegill - Fair: Fish around brush with a jig/waxie. Crappie - Fair: Fish over brush. First and last light tends to be best. There is a huge year class of 8 to 9-inch crappies.
Areas that are protected and out of the current have up to 7 inches of ice. Areas in the channel could have much less. Use extreme caution here!
Cedar River (La Porte City to Cedar Rapids)
Anglers have been fishing backwater areas. Use caution around areas of flow! Bluegill - Fair: Crappie - Fair:
For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.
Red Haw Lake
Ice depths have been reported to be around 5 inches. Use caution when venturing out because there have been some variation in ice thickness. The geese had been keeping an area open by the dam and the beach so avoid that area. Bluegill - Fair: Use teardrop jigs tipped with a wax worm.
Hawthorn Lake (aka Barnes City Lake)
The lake has been drained for a lake renovation to be started this winter.
Use caution when venturing out onto the ice. The standing timber can impede the formation of good ice. Bluegill - Slow: Use small jigs tipped with a wax worm. Try fishing within a foot of the lake bottom.
The lake level is at 902.23 feet with 904.0 feet being normal pool. The main lake has frozen over. Ice thickness reports are as follows: Island View Dedication site boat ramp-6 inches, Glenwood ramp-7.5 inches, and Atwell’s Landing-8.5 inches. Use caution because ice thickness has been variable. Crappie - Slow: Use teardrops jigs tipped with a wax worm or a minnow. Find areas with submerged structure and fish over them.
For further fishing reports in south central Iowa please call the Rathbun fish hatchery at 641-647-2406
Rock Creek Lake
Bluegill - Good: Both bluegill and crappie are being caught in good numbers fishing with wax worms in 8 to 12 feet of water. Morning and late afternoon have been the best times.
Big Creek Lake
Bluegill - Good: Anglers fishing in the Lost Lake portion of Big Creek are still doing well on nice bluegills in the 8 to 9-inch range. It is not an any time of day bite. The best time seems to be late afternoon. The sunken brush piles in the lower half of the lake are also producing some gills. Waxies are the preferred bait. Crappie - Slow: So far crappie fishing has been fairly slow. The fish that are being caught are coming from the roadbed and the 30 to 35 foot deep creek channel running between the East ramp and Ensign shelter. Almost all crappies are caught after sunset. Use glowing tackle with wax worms, small live minnows, or just minnow heads. Walleye - Fair: Crappie anglers are picking up many walleyes with most being short. Check LEGAL sized walleye for tags near the tail. If one is caught, follow the instructions on the signs near the boat ramps to collect a cash reward.
Hickory Grove Lake
Bluegill - Good: Good sized bluegill averaging over 8 inches are being caught. They are being caught over sunken habitat in depths of 10 feet or greater. Many of the points accessible by foot during open water have habitat sunk in front of them. Crappie - Good: Anglers that stick it out into the late afternoon and after sunset are catching crappie in the same habitat the bluegills are coming off of. Glow jigs with wax worms or minnows are working.
Bluegill - Fair: Anglers are picking up some 8-inch bluegills with wax worms. The most productive areas are the large sunken cedars in 16 to 20 feet out from the steep, west bank across from the beach area.
Ankeny Lake (DMACC)
Rainbow Trout - Good: Good catches of rainbow trout are being caught through the ice by tipping ice jigs or jigging spoons with a couple wax worms. Bluegill - Good: Decent sized bluegills are being pulled through the ice. Concentrate on the south central portion of the lake.
Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
Ada Hayden is usually one of the last lakes to freeze in Central Iowa, use caution and check ice thickness frequently. Rainbow Trout - Good: Most of the rainbow trout stocked in November remain to be caught through the ice. They seem to be traveling in schools around the perimeter. Try staying in the 5 to 10 feet contour interval. They can be caught on most ice fishing jigs or jigging spoons tipped with wax worms. They are confined to the North pit.
Banner Lake (south)
Rainbow Trout - Good: Good numbers of rainbow trout are left to be caught through the ice. Anglers are catching them using normal ice fishing jigs or jigging spoons tipped with wax worms.
Ice fishing conditions are good. Small lakes and ponds are averaging 7 to 8 inches of ice. The larger lakes have gained some ice since last week have anywhere from 4.5 to 8 inches. Still use caution, especially if taking atvs or snowmobiles on the ice. For questions on central Iowa lakes and rivers contact Ben Dodd or Andy Otting at 515-432-2823.
Greenfield Lake has a quality panfish fishery and is a popular ice fishing lake. There is still waterfowl activity around the dam. Bluegill - Slow: A few 7 to 8-inch bluegills are being caught in 20 feet of water using wax worms.
Lake Anita was reported to have 7 inches of ice. Anita’s bluegills have experienced good growth over the past year and are providing an excellent ice fishery. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are being caught on jigs tipped with wax worms in 18 to 20 feet of water. Fish your jig close to the bottom. Bluegills are averaging 8 inches with fish up to 9.5 inches being caught.
Willow lake has 7 inches of good ice and extremely good water clarity. Bluegill - Good: Anglers are catching bluegills with wax worms in 20 feet of water. Bluegills are 7 to 8 inches.
Manawa has variable ice thickness due to waterfowl. Drill holes often as you venture out. Most of the ice fishing has taken place around Boy Scout Island and the new and old beach. Crappie - Fair: Crappies are being caught with minnows and wax worms. Most fish are 8 to 10 inches.
Cold Springs District Farm Ponds
Numerous farm ponds in southern Iowa provide a good opportunity for a quality ice fishing trip. Remember to always get permission before fishing private ponds. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are being caught using tear drops tipped with wax worms. Crappie - Fair: Crappies are being caught using minnows on larger ponds that support crappie populations. Later in the afternoon has been the best time to target crappies.
Ice conditions are good with 5 to 7 inches on most water bodies in southwest Iowa. Be aware of waterfowl activity as some lakes still hold large numbers of geese. For information on fishing or ice conditions call the district office in Lewis at 712-769-2587.
The waterfowl are keeping several areas open. The near-shore areas and coves usually have thicker ice. Check often
Fogle Lake S.W.A.
The lake has frozen over but some thin ice areas still exist. Some anglers are venturing out to the brush pile just north of the outflow structure.
Green Valley Lake
The lake level has been lowered 12 feet for a sediment removal project. The lake has a lot of quality panfish. Ice fishing this winter should be very good. A lot of open water is still present. Some of the shoreline areas may have some good ice. Check the thickness before venturing too far out.
The lake has been drained for a spillway replacement project. It should be down at least until spring.
Three Mile Lake
Ice thickness varies greatly. Some open water is still present in middle and some areas just recently froze over. The coves usually have thicker ice but still check often.
Twelve Mile Creek Lake
Ice thickness is increasing but thin areas still exist. Open water is present in the middle. The coves and near-shore areas are usually thicker but still check often. Several anglers have been fishing the roadway between the middle ramps. Check often.
Ice thickness is increasing. The farm ponds and small lakes have from 5 to 8 inches of good ice. The medium sized lakes have less and could still be too thin. The ice at big lakes varies from open water to 8 inches. The coves and sheltered areas could have up to 6 inches but nearby areas may still be less than an inch. Use caution and check the thickness frequently.
Two northeast Iowa men pleaded guilty to poaching trophy deer in November near Preston and Sabula.
Ross Niles, 26, of Clinton, and Eric Thompson, 32, of Clinton, both pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful taking of a deer, two counts of unlawful possession of deer, no valid hunting license, no valid deer license, failure to validate deer license, failure to confirm harvest and possession of another hunter’s deer tag. Niles and Thompson were ordered to pay $3,000 in liquidated damages.
Andrew Keil, state conservation officer for Dubuque and Jackson counties for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, said the poaching investigation began after a traffic stop near Green Island on Nov. 17.
Keil said evidence found during the traffic stop and in subsequent interviews confirmed that Niles and Thompson had poached trophy deer. He said the investigation led officers to an Illinois taxidermist, where Illinois conservation police seized two bucks, including one with a gross score of 171 inches.
Iowa officers are investigating another allegedly illegally killed trophy buck linked to Niles and Thompson, and more charges are expected.
The DNR seized a Matthews bow and arrows, a Rock River AR-15 with Leupold scope, deer meat, hides and racks.
Missouri’s Conservation Commission has approved the following hunting dates for 2011.
Youth Spring Turkey - April 9 and 10.
Spring Turkey - April 18 through May 8.
Fall Firearms Turkey - Oct. 1 through 31.
Opening Day of November Portion of Firearms Deer Season - Nov. 12.
Activities include naturalist and storyteller John Tierney relating some eastern Kentucky legends, including the real story of the Hatfield/McCoy feud.
Here’s the schedule:
6 p.m. — Fishing Fun. Equipment provided. Location: Meet at the boat dock. All ages are welcome, but children younger than 12 must be accompanied by an adult, and those 16 and older must have a valid Kentucky fishing license to fish. Free.
4 p.m. — Tissue Paper Flowers. Make a beautiful bouquet with tissue paper. Location: Campground Shelter. Ages 7-adult. Free.
11 a.m. — “Snakes Alive!” Paint your own articulated snake. Location: Campground Shelter. All ages. Cost: $1 per snake.
4 p.m. — Leaf Printing. Pound away your frustrations while you learn about the variety of trees that thrive in the campground, and take home a print that you might want to frame. Location: Campground Shelter. All ages. Free.
6 p.m. — “The Great Vendetta: The Hatfield-McCoy Feud.” Arguably, the most famous and bitter family feud, waged between the Kentucky McCoys and the West Virginia Hatfields, this feud spurred deep disputes in the late 1800s between two states before eventually going before the Supreme Court.
Transport yourself to post-Civil War Appalachia with storyteller John Tierney. Location: Campground Shelter. All ages. Free.