Saturday, June 25, 2016

Pheasant Hunters Spend Big Money in South Dakota

English: Ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colch...

The Ring-necked Pheasant means fun and memories for South Dakotans and its visitors, but it also means big money to main streets across the state.
The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) statistics reveal 150,037 pheasant hunters spent over $170.1 million dollars in the state in 2015. A further breakdown reveals that 84,903 nonresident hunters spent $140.3 million, while 65,134 resident hunters spent approximately $29.8 million in 2015.
“South Dakota is a hunting destination for people across the country and the world,” said GFP Secretary, Kelly Hepler. “Pheasant hunting plays a big part in our quality of life, and it continues to be an economic driver for businesses across the state.”
The economic and harvest statistics by county can be found online athttps://gfp.sd.gov/hunting/small-game/pheasant-economics.aspx. The counties with the highest hunter spending for 2015 were: Tripp, Brule, Brown, Lyman, Spink and Beadle.
“It is no accident that the places where the most money is spent by pheasant hunters are the places where large tracts of quality habitat exist,” concluded Hepler. “Ag producers know that quality habitat means high pheasant numbers; which results in thousands of visitors wearing blaze orange.”
These county-specific spending estimates were generated by applying mean per-hunter spending estimates to the number and distribution of pheasant hunters as derived from the 2015 GFP upland game harvest surveys.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Oklahoma Leading Conservationists Retire


A prominent fisheries biologist,
the University of Oklahoma's  William Matthews
retires after 46 years of teaching.
After a combined 86 years of training future biologists, two lifelong conservationists, William Caire with the University of Central Oklahoma and William Matthews with the University of Oklahoma, are preparing to retire this year. Both professors have been invaluable collaborators with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's Wildlife Diversity Program and have volunteered their time and expertise by serving on its Technical Committee since its formation in 1985.
 


An authority on Oklahoma's bat populations, the University of Central Oklahoma's William Caire retires after teaching biology for 40 years.
Recognized as an authority on Oklahoma's bat populations, Caire joined UCO's College of Mathematics and Science in 1976. In addition to teaching all levels of biology for nonmajors, he also teaches mammalogy for upperclassmen. Caire's research interests have centered on mammalian ecology and have resulted in publications with many student co-authors in the areas of rodent and bat taxonomy, food habits, parasites, physiology, and distributional surveys of mammals in the Southwest.
   Caire was instrumental in the development of UCO's Selman Living Lab in northwestern Oklahoma, a 320-acre field research station that includes bat caves, classrooms, lodging facilities and an observatory. He served as director of the lab until 2013. He has also co-authored the comprehensive "Mammals of Oklahoma," and is a valuable member of the Oklahoma Bat Coordinating Team. He has been awarded research grants from the Wildlife Department to estimate the population of Mexican free-tailed bats at important maternity roosts in Oklahoma and to determine the summer ecology of bats in southeastern Oklahoma.
   Caire is the most recent recipient of the Oklahoma Medal for Excellence in teaching at a regional university or community college. When interviewed by Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, Caire said one of his objectives is to pass his curiosity down to his students so they will be lifelong learners.
   


A prominent fisheries biologist, the University of Oklahoma's  William Matthews retires after 46 years of teaching.
Matthews, a prominent fisheries biologist, joined OU's Department of Zoology in 1979. Throughout his career, he has taught courses in aquatic ecology and ichthyology (the study of fishes) and conducted research focused on stream and river fishes. He has mentored and trained 18 graduate students and has been active in professional organizations including the American Fisheries Society and the Southwestern Association of Naturalists.
   Matthews works as a team with his wife Edie Marsh-Matthews, who is also a professional fisheries biologist and a faculty member in OU's Department of Zoology. Together, they have long-term connections with the University of Oklahoma's Biological Station, on the north shore of Lake Texoma, and the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, where they have served as the curators of the Fishes Collection. They are currently completing a research grant they received from the Wildlife Department to survey the fish communities of the Clear Boggy, Muddy Boggy, Kiamichi and Little River drainages in Oklahoma. Previous collaborations with the Wildlife Department include sport and forage fish assessments in the upper Red River, fishereies research in Lake Texoma, and ecological research focused on the Arkansas River Shiner and the Leopard Darter. Both will retire in late 2016.
   Matthews has received many conservation achievement awards, including the 2015 Joseph Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award in Ichthyology from the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, the 2010 Joe Hogan Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arkansas Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, and the 1992 "Fisheries Worker of the Year" award from the Oklahoma Chapter of the American Fisheries Society.
   The Wildlife Department is grateful for the dedication of these conservationists and their lasting work, furthering our knowledge of Oklahoma's wildlife.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

South Dakota State Smallmouth Bass Record Broken

WEBSTER, S.D. –Two Minnesota anglers landed the fish of their dreams on Saturday, April 23, when they boated a 7 pound, 3 ounce smallmouth bass on Horseshoe Lake.
Barnesville, Minnesota’s Lyal Held boated the massive bass, breaking the previous record of 7 pounds, which was caught from Horseshoe Lake by Derek Valnes in 2013. Lyal’s fish was 19.5 inches in length and had an amazing 19 inch girth.
“These anglers had identified Horseshoe Lake as a great opportunity to break a state record,” said South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks’ (GFP) regional fisheries manager, Mark Ermer. “To my understanding, they had been pursuing the record for some time. This is a fish of a lifetime.” Ermer personally verified Held’s smallmouth as a state record.
To view a list of all of South Dakota’s state record fish, visit http://gfp.sd.gov/fishing-boating/state-fish-records-list.aspx.
For a fish to qualify as a state record, anglers must have the fish identified by a state fisheries biologist and weighed on a certified scale. Other qualifications can be found on the state record fish application: http://www.gfp.sd.gov/fishing-boating/docs/state-record-fish-form.pdf.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Natural Resources Commission approves year-round coyote hunting season in Michigan

A coyote in Yosemite National Park, California...

Effective immediately, coyote hunting season is open year-round in Michigan. Please note that dogs may not be used to hunt coyotes April 16 through July 7.
Nighttime hunting season dates now match the daytime hunting season dates by species. Coyote and opossum hunting are open year-round. Raccoon hunting is Oct. 1 through Jan. 31, and fox hunting runs Oct. 15 through March 1.
Raccoons, opossums, foxes and coyotes now may be taken at night with 3 and 4 buckshot. Nighttime furbearers can be taken with a bow and arrow, crossbow, a rimfire firearm .22 caliber or smaller, or a shotgun with loads other than buckshot larger than number 3, slug or cut shell. Centerfire rifles may not be used to take furbearers at night.
Portable artificial lights may be used throughout the open nighttime season of the target species. Examples include flashlights, portable battery-powered spotlights and headlamps.
Nighttime hunters must use the aid of a game or predator call and/or dogs while hunting at night. Dogs may not be used from April 16 through July 7. While hunting with dogs at night, a firearm, crossbow or bow and arrow may be loaded at the point of kill only.
To hunt coyotes, Michigan residents must have a valid base license, and nonresidents must have a valid base license and a valid fur harvester license. Residents hunting other furbearing species will need a base license and a fur harvester license.
Raccoons and coyotes may be taken all year on private property by a property owner or designee when the raccoons or coyotes are doing or about to do damage to private property. A license or written permit is not needed.
These changes are for coyote and nighttime furbearer hunting only. Trapping season dates and regulations are not affected by these changes.
The Wildlife Conservation Order, containing complete listings of regulations and legal descriptions, can be found at mi.gov/dnrlaws.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Becoming an Outdoor Family Event Taking Registrations: South Dakota

Camping - Teepee fire
Teepee fire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
PIERRE, S.D. – Pickerel Lake Recreation Area near Grenville will host the Becoming an Outdoor Family event July 27-29.

The event is designed for beginner camping families, families who want to try new outdoor activities and those who enjoy the company of like-minded families.

“Becoming an Outdoor Family is an opportunity to try different activities, learn new skills and spend a weekend outdoors with your family,” said Emilie Miller, program specialist for South Dakota state parks. “It’s also a chance to meet other families who share similar interests.”

Workshop fees are $60 per family. The fee includes instruction in four skills sessions, program materials, equipment use during the workshop and an electric campsite for two nights. A campsite reservation will be made for participating families, but they must provide their own camper or tent. Families can extend their camping reservation to include the following weekend, July 30-31, for an additional $40. Families must be registered by May 31 in order to extend their stay through the weekend.

A park entrance license is required to enter the park and is not included in the registration fee.

Sessions include paddling (canoe, kayak, paddleboard), GPS/geocaching, outdoor yard games and Dutch oven cooking.

Register online for the Becoming an Outdoor Family program. Learn more about the event at http://gfp.sd.gov/outdoor-learning/BOF.aspx or by calling 605.773.3391.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

MRS Walleye Tagging Study Continues in North Dakota

North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries biologists are on the final leg of a four-year walleye tagging study on the Missouri River and Lake Oahe.

South central district fisheries biologist Paul Bailey said this spring's goal in North Dakota is to tag 4,000 adult walleye, which would bring the four-year total covering the entire reach to more than 36,000 fish.

The study area extends from the Garrison Dam in central North Dakota downstream to Oahe Dam in South Dakota, and involves a major collaboration of biologists and researchers from North Dakota Game and Fish, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, and South Dakota State University.

“The study is designed to assess walleye movements, mortality and what proportion of the walleye population is harvested annually by anglers,” Bailey said.

The study targets adult walleye, each fitted with a metal jaw tag stamped with a unique number to identify the fish, and a phone number to report the tag. Anglers can either keep or release the fish. Anglers practicing catch-and-release can write the tag number down and report it, leaving the tag on the fish when released.

Bailey said the study has provided biologists with some valuable information. “The angling mortality rate that we’ve seen in the first three years of the study has been about 17-27 percent, depending on the region of Lake Oahe and the Missouri River that we are in,” Bailey said. “Those are all acceptably low rates of mortality that basically says that anglers are not having a negative impact on the fishery at the present time.”

In addition, Bailey believes a lot of anglers assume there is a walleye migration that occurs every spring, similar to a spawning run. “The information that we are getting suggests that this really isn’t the case,” he added. “What anglers are seeing is really an illusion, based on water temperatures.”

Movement patterns suggest over half of the tagged walleye that were reported by anglers were caught within 10 miles of where they were tagged and released. However, Bailey said the pattern shows fish tagged in North Dakota moved greater distances than those tagged farther downstream, and North Dakota fish moved both upstream and downstream after tagging.

While the tagging portion of the project will be completed this year, anglers will be able to report tagged fish as they are caught in the future.

Anglers can report tags by calling the phone number found on tags, which, anglers should note, is a South Dakota phone number. Tag information can also be reported on the Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov, or by calling 701-328-6300.

Anglers should record the date and location of the catch, whether the fish was kept or released, tag number and length and weight (if the fish was measured). Anglers who report tagged fish can keep the tag, and will receive a letter providing some history on the fish.

A small portion of the tags offer a reward to anglers to encourage returns, Bailey said, with these tags clearly marked “Reward.”

Reward tags must be physically turned in to Game and Fish offices in Riverdale or Bismarck, or to a Game, Fish and Parks office in South Dakota.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

DNR’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program offers mother-daughter workshop in Marquette County


The Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program is offering a Beyond BOW Mother/Daughter workshop in the city of Marquette.

Scheduled for Saturday, July 30, at the campground at Tourist Park, this program is for mothers and their daughters (between the ages of 10-17) who would like to learn some kayaking, backpacking and hiking skills.
The workshop starts at 9:15 a.m. and will conclude at 2:45 p.m. Lunch will be provided as well as all equipment. Each class will be approximately two hours long and will be held round-robin-style.
The cost for this workshop is $20 for each mother/daughter group and it is limited to 10 groups. Deadline for registration is July 22nd.
Class information and registration materials are available online at www.michigan.gov/bow and registration can be paid online at www.michigan.gov/estore.
For more information, contact Sharon Pitz at 906-228-6561 or email her at pitzs@michigan.gov.a

Monday, June 13, 2016

2016 marks 100 years of dog field trials in Gladwin, Michigan

The Gladwin Field Trial Area will celebrate its 100th anniversary Saturday, June 18. The Department of Natural Resources invites the public to come and enjoy a celebration of a century-old Michigan tradition with an 11 a.m. ceremony at Alibi Hall at the Gladwin Field Trial Area in Meredith, Michigan.
“We are excited to celebrate this special place with its long-standing history, traditions and habitat management for ruffed grouse and American woodcock,” said DNR wildlife biologist Bruce Barlow.  “The Gladwin Field Trial Area is the best field-trialing venue in the nation.”
Located in the northwest corner of Gladwin County on more than 4,900 acres, the Gladwin Field Trial Area brings people from all over the country for premier dog field trials, which are competitions for hunting dogs to test their levels of skill and training in locating and pointing. Trials are held in the early spring and again in the late summer and early fall, avoiding the quiet period when birds are nesting. The uniqueness of these field trials comes from the dogs working wild native birds, ruffed grouse and woodcock. Birds are not placed in the Gladwin Field Trial Area. With an intense timber management program, this area – which includes 14 different field trial courses – can hold birds with its young forest habitat.
“Many folks and their families, some through multiple generations, have numerous and cherished memories out here,” said Barlow. “It’s going to be a wonderful afternoon having everyone out to Alibi Hall, which itself is a great piece of field trial history.”

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Oklahoma Wildlife Department Director Plans to Retire Oct. 1



Director Richard Hatcher, after a 37-year career with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, said Monday he plans to retire Oct. 1. He made the announcement during the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission's regular June meeting in Oklahoma City.
    "Thanks for the opportunity to serve. I've enjoyed it," Hatcher said. He told commissioners his employment with the Wildlife Department has been a dream job, and he is grateful for the support he's received from Commissioners and from Department employees. 
    Commission Chairman John Zelbst of Lawton said the Department will conduct a nationwide search for the next director. He appointed Commissioners Bruce Mabrey of Okmulgee, John Groendyke of Enid and Leigh Gaddis of Ada to a search committee. He said Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment Michael Teague will have an advisory role on the committee. 
    Hatcher joined the Wildlife Department as Oklahoma's first furbearer biologist in 1979. He became a field supervisor in 1987 and was promoted through the ranks, becoming the Department's Director in 2009. 
    Hatcher has been instrumental in building relationships with other conservation organizations, private industry and landowners. He has served as chairman of several regional and national committees, and has received state and national awards from conservation organizations. As Director, Hatcher is responsible for both long-range programs and day-to-day progress, making sure the Department functions within the Commission's policy guidelines and budget.
    "I know it is  our field employees in all divisions who are the face of this agency and who are ultimately responsible for the many successes we have accomplished," Hatcher later told Department staff members. "I know the agency is being left in good hands. ... I am proud to have been of service in such a great mission as ours!" 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Michigan DNR’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program offers traditional archery workshop in Crawford County

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) Program is offering a Beyond BOW Traditional Archery Workshop for women this month in Grayling, at the Hanson Hills Recreational Area.

The program, which is scheduled for the weekend of June 24-26, is specifically for women who have previous traditional archery experience.An archer at the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman course in Big Bay, Michigan.
“This is a great opportunity for those women who have some previous experience at our archery classes in Big Bay,” said Sharon Pitz, the DNR’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman coordinator. “This workshop will help expand on those skills using traditional bows.”
Participants must be 18 or older. Enrollment is limited to six. Registration deadline is June 17. The workshop will be held rain or shine.
The workshop starts at 1 p.m. Friday, June 24, with check in. Participants will then head to the campsite. Starting at 2 p.m., there will be a safety orientation and practice before moving to the 2-dimensional target range.

Participants are asked to bring their own sleeping pad/air mattress and camp chair unless staying off site. See registration materials for more details.
There will be many opportunities to shoot the course over the weekend.
The cost for this event is $80, which includes two nights tent lodging, the archery shoot at the recreation area and some meals.
Class information and registration materials are available online at the DNR website at:www.michigan.gov/bow. The registration fee can be paid online at www.michigan.gov/estore.
For more information, contact Sharon Pitz at 906-228-6561 or email her at pitzs@michigan.gov.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Iowa Weekly Fishing Report 6/10/2017

English: Black and white crappie (Pomoxis nigr...
Black and white crappie by Robert W. Hines (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
NORTHWEST
Arrowhead Lake
Expect to see bluegill spawning beds near shore in areas 2-6 feet deep with sand or gravel substrate. With the clear water, the males guarding the nests are often visible and can be caught using a small jig fished under a bobber. Try a small black colored jig tipped with a small piece of crawler or wax worm fished under a bobber. Spawning crappie can also be picked up near shore this time of year with a jig and minnow or crawler.

Black Hawk Lake
Water levels are about 10 inches over the crest of the spillway. Water temperature is in the low 70's. Black Crappie - Good: Anglers are picking up spawning crappie near shore. Throw a jig tipped with crawler or crappie candy bait fished under a bobber in 2-3 feet of water. Bluegill - Good: Large numbers of bluegill are being caught on small jigs tipped with a small piece of crawler fished under a bobber near shore. They are biting in all areas of the lake in about 2-4 feet of depth. Bluegill nests can be seen in some areas near shore containing sandy and gravel substrate. Use a small jig tipped with crawler fished under a bobber to catch fish guarding these nests. Walleye - Fair: Anglers continue to pick up walleye. The bite seems to be best after sunset. Leeches, white twisters and crankbaits are effective. The shore along Ice House Point and the North Shore Picnic area have been productive. Fish are being picked up anywhere with rocky structure and also near the inlet bridge. There is no minimum length limit for walleye at Black Hawk Lake and a daily bag limit of 5 fish. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass fishing continues to be great. Most are being caught on plastics, leeches and minnows fished in 1-5 feet of water. Top water baits and twisters also work well. They are biting any time of day. There is a 15-inch minimum length limit for largemouth bass on Black Hawk Lake. Channel Catfish - Fair: Anglers have picked up 17-20 inch catfish on stink bait and leeches.

Black Hawk Pits
Expect to see bluegill spawning beds near shore in areas 2-6 feet deep with sand or gravel substrate. With the clear water, the males guarding the nests are often visible and can be caught with a small jig fished under a bobber. Try a small black colored jig tipped with a small piece of crawler or wax worm fished under a bobber. Spawning crappie can also be picked up near shore this time of year with a jig and minnow or crawler.

Brushy Creek Lake
Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are on beds. Fish these areas (4-10 feet of water) near shore with a small jig tipped with crawler under a bobber. Black Crappie - Good: Crappies are spawning. Fish areas near shore in 3-8 feet of water with a jig fished under a bobber. Use a small piece of crawler or minnow. Yellow Perch - Fair: Some perch have been picked up in areas near shore with crawlers and minnows. Walleye - Fair: Walleye are being picked up in 10-20 feet of water.

Southwood Conservation Area Pond (east)
Water is clear. Bluegills are on beds. Curlyleaf Pondweed (an aquatic invasive plant) is present. Anglers must clean all visible aquatic plant material from the boat before leaving any water body. Bluegill - Fair: Anglers have picked up bluegills. Bluegills are on beds, especially towards the north end in 1-5 feet of water. A recent electrofishing survey documented 9+ inch bluegills. Black Crappie - Fair: Several crappies have been picked up recently. Fish near shore with a minnow or crawler on a jig fished below a bobber.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
The dredge is in operation in the northeast portion of the lake. Boaters should use extreme caution in this area of the lake and must maintain a 100 foot distance from the dredge, booster pump and all dredge pipes at all times. Storm Lake has a daily limit of 3 walleye and all 17 to 22-inch walleye must be released; no more than one walleye longer than 22 inches may be taken per day. Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers are still picking up crappie in the marina with a small jig fished under a bobber. Use a small piece of crawler or minnow. Walleye - Fair: Walleyes are being picked up using crankbaits fished in the dredge cuts and from shore with leeches or crankbaits. Shore anglers are having best luck in early morning and around sunset. White Bass - Slow: The white bass bite has been slow. A few have been picked up with crawlers and crankbaits. Channel Catfish - Fair: Anglers have reported catching catfish from shore with stink bait or cut bait fished off the bottom.

Swan Lake
Bluegill - Good: Anglers are picking up bluegill near shore in areas with 2-5 feet of water. Expect to see bluegills guarding nests this time of year near shore in areas with sandy or gravel substrate. Fish a small jig under a bobber with a small piece of crawler, wax worm or minnow. Black Crappie - Fair: Some crappies are still being picked up with minnows or crappie candy baits fished under a bobber in 2-5 feet of water

Yellow Smoke Park Lake
Look for bluegill spawning beds near shore in 2-6 feet of water in areas containing sandy or gravel substrate. Fish are usually visible as they guard these nests; try throwing a small jig fished under a bobber. Use a small piece of crawler or wax worm. This lake has good numbers of 8+ inch bluegills and this is a great time of year to target these fish.

Water temperatures in western Iowa are in the low to mid 70's. Bluegill and crappie fishing is still pretty good near shore in most of our area lakes. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District Office at 712-657-2638.

Bluebill Lake
Largemouth Bass - Good: Fish the shorelines with a plastic worm on a Carolina rig or a real worm on a bobber. Bluegill - Good: Some nice bluegills are being caught wading the shoreline and drifting live bait or flies. A few largemouth, crappie and perch are also biting while bluegill fishing.

Blue Lake
Water levels in the lake are high but fishing has been fine. Largemouth Bass - Fair: With the water levels up, there is a lot of shoreline vegetation submerged. Concentrate on these areas with weedless lures. Bluegill - Fair: Fish a worm under a bobber near vegetation. Some sorting is required because there are a lot of smaller fish.

Clear Lake
Water temperature is about 70 degrees. Channel Catfish - Good: Catfish are still hitting in the shallows near shore. They are close to spawning time when they will move to rock reefs to find a spawning cavity. Use cut bait on the bottom with a slip sinker or on a float in the shallows. Jig fish with a piece of cut bait or minnow if trying near the rocks. Yellow Bass - Fair: A few yellows can still be caught near the island, but the spawn is mostly done. Walleye - Fair: Lots of sublegal walleyes are being caught; slower for the bigger fish. Try a weedless jig or a bobber in the shallows. Fish have been caught close to docks, in the rushes or edges of them and trolling shallow. Wader anglers have been catching a few keepers in the rushes on north shore or by Baptist camp. Muskellunge – Fair. Yellow Perch - Fair: Target perch inside the rushes on the north shore or near Farmer’s Beach. Bluegill - No Report: Bluegills and pumpkinseeds should be on beds. Look for sand or fine gravel in 1-3 foot of water on the MacIntosh point or Farmer’s Beach shorelines.

Lake Catherine
Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass are biting on plastic worms jigged along the bottom.

Lake Smith
Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are biting well and should be in pre-spawn and making nests. Size varies. Largemouth Bass – Good. Channel Catfish - Good: Try fishing near the rocks with cut bait or worms under a bobber.

Lower Pine Lake
Some anglers are catching decent sized crappie at lower pine lake with minnows and artificial lures. Bluegills are slow and small on bother upper and lower lakes. There have been a few reports of big largemouth being caught in both upper and lower pine lakes lately.

For lake updates and fishing information in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.

Big Spirit Lake
Walleye - Good: Numbers of small angler acceptable size fish are being caught. Best action has been reported after dark. Black Bullhead - Fair: Bullhead action has slowed with the best action at Buffalo Run.

Center Lake
Black Crappie - Excellent: Good numbers of black crappie are being caught by the Center Lake boat angler. Anglers fishing the pier are also having success.

East Okoboji Lake
Channel Catfish - Good: Anglers fishing after dark will catch angler acceptable size and larger fish. Use cut bait on the bottom for this hard fighting game fish. Bluegill - Good: Fish are currently on beds; fish shallow with small jigs. Black Crappie - Good: Cast small jig lures tipped with bait on the wooden docks. Yellow Perch - Good: Good numbers of fish are being caught. Walleye - Fair: Some angler acceptable fish are being caught on the south end of the lake.

Lost Island Lake
Yellow Bass - Good: Boat anglers are catching good numbers; fish vertically with a jig tipped with wigglers. Dock anglers casting jigs will produce numbers; fish evening hours for the best action. Channel Catfish - Good: Good numbers of large channel catfish were caught from the lake last week. Fish after dark for the best results.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Walleye - Good: Shore and boat anglers have been harvesting good numbers of walleye with the additional "jumbo" yellow perch mixed in the catch.

NORTHEAST
Cedar River (above Nashua)
Water clarity is fairly muddy with recent rains. Smallmouth Bass - Slow: Use a jig tipped with a minnow. Walleye - Slow: Fish in the pockets or slack water areas. A jig tipped with a twister tail or minnow work well. Channel Catfish - Good: Catfish activity has picked up with recent rains. Try baiting the hook with a night crawler or minnow and fish off the bottom.

Decorah District Streams
Streams are in excellent condition and ready for anglers. There have been some phenomenal March brown mayfly hatches in the evenings. Our angler accesses on private property only allow for fishing. All other activities must be permitted by the landowner.  Brook Trout - Good: Brook trout may be a bit more difficult to catch when the water is cloudy. Use a spinner to catch its eye. Brown Trout - Good: Caddis flies, small mayflies, midges and gnats are becoming more numerous. Dry fly angling has been excellent. Use a #16 or 18 for the pale evening dun hatches. Also try a blue wing olive with a gnarly midge dropper. Be prepared to change flies often. Rainbow Trout - Good: All streams are being stocked with trout. Try a hook tipped with a worm, cheese or dough ball.

Lake Hendricks
Target efforts along the weed edges. Shoreline access is excellent throughout the park. Live baits are working well for all fish. Bluegill - Good: Morning and evening are best times to fish. Use a hook tipped with a small piece of worm. Black Crappie - Slow: Crappie activity has slowed. Try trolling over structure. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass activity has picked up. Use a topwater lure or crankbait.

Lake Meyer
Water clarity is about 5-6 feet on Lake Meyer. A good cast into habitat will do better than sitting on top of habitat. Fish shallower water in the morning or evening when the sun isn't shining directly on the lake. The fish are moving to deeper water during the day. Bluegill - Good: Fish will take a small piece of worm fished under a bobber. Black Crappie - Fair: Use live bait for best success. Focus efforts on crappies around the submerged habitat. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try fishing in the morning or evening with a shallow water crankbait from shore. Bass will also take a top water lure.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
Recent rainfall events have brought the river up, but it has stabilized. Water temperatures are in the low 70's. Water levels and clarity may change depending on rainfall amounts over the next several days. Walleye - Fair: Try fishing around log jams or current breaks and under rock ledges. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Use small crankbaits or a hook tipped with a worm.

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
River clarity is off with levels on a slow rise. Clarity should improve quickly. Water temperatures are in the low 70's. Anglers are catching a nice variety of fish. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Quite a few 12 to 14 inch fish are taking bait. Anglers are using small spinnerbaits fished off current breaks. Walleye - Slow: Crankbaits fished off current breaks work well. Channel Catfish - Good: A hook tipped with a worm fished along a brush pile has worked well this week.

Volga Lake
A few roads in the park are scheduled for maintenance this year, but the park will remain open. The recreation area is in excellent condition with quite a bit of activity. Black Crappie - Good: Use a small jig tipped with a minnow or small plastic worm. Cast your line out with a bobber. Let it sit for a bit then give your line a tiny tug. Take up the slack and repeat very slowly. Bluegill - Good: Try a worm threaded on a hook fished under a bobber to catch bluegills moving into shallow water. Largemouth Bass - Good: Crankbaits work well. Bass are also hitting a jig tipped with a nightcrawler. Make sure to leave a long tail for the bass to nibble on.

A chance of scattered thunderstorms is possible throughout the weekend, with increased heat and humidity. Our area received 0.1 to 0.5 inches of rain. Most rivers and streams are fishable or will be fishable by the weekend. Please contact the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324 for more information.

Brinker Lake
Reports are that fishing on Brinker Lake has been good for largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and channel catfish.

Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Anglers have been doing excellent on largemouth bass and fair on bluegill in Casey Lake. Bluegills have moved off of the spawning beds, so concentrate efforts near structure. Anglers are beginning to target channel catfish on the lake. Bluegill - Fair: Slowly drift and retrieve small 1/32 or 1/16 oz. jigs near submerged structure. Largemouth Bass - Excellent: Cast topwater baits early morning or late evening. Channel Catfish - Fair: Stink baits and cut baits fished on the bottom near the old beach area can be really good for channel catfish.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
The Cedar River is currently falling and channel catfish, smallmouth bass and walleye are once again on a good bite. Walleye - Fair: A jig tipped with a night crawler this time of year is a deadly combination or casting crankbaits. Channel Catfish - Good: Cut baits, stink baits and crawlers fished on the bottom have been producing some nice catches of channel catfish. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Use crankbaits or jigs tipped with a plastic and night crawler.

George Wyth Lake
There have been reports of crappie and bluegill being taken from George Wyth Lake. Concentrate efforts near the fishing dock or off the jetties. Black Crappie - Fair: Try casting hair jigs or various colored tube jigs near the shallows. Bluegill - Fair: Slowly drift and retrieve small 1/32 or 1/16 oz. jigs near submerged structure.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
The Maquoketa River continues to fall; conditions for the upcoming weekend should produce some catches of smallmouth bass and walleye. Walleye - Fair: Casting crankbaits has been hot this past week as water temperatures warm. A jig tipped with half a crawler is a deadly combination this time of year. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Cast and retrieve crankbaits, spinner baits or topwater plugs near and along rocky shorelines or woody debris.

Martens Lake
Martens Lake has been really good for topwater action for largemouth bass during early morning and late evening hours. Largemouth Bass - Good: Cast and retrieve topwater frogs near the lily pads.

Plainfield Lake
Plainfield Lake has provided some quality sized bluegills, but anglers have had to work for them. Bluegill - Fair: Present the lightest oz. jig possible, allowing the jig to slowly fall in the water column.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
The Shell Rock River is currently falling and the catfish are biting. By the weekend, conditions could be favorable for walleye as well. Channel Catfish - Fair: Cut baits, stink baits and crawlers fished on the bottom have been producing some nice catches of channel catfish. Walleye - Fair: A jig tipped with a nightcrawler this time of year is a deadly combination or casting crankbaits. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Use crankbaits or jigs tipped with a plastic and night crawler.

Silver Lake (Delaware)
Bluegills have moved into the shallows along the weedy edges of vegetation; catch has been good, but some sorting may be required. Bluegill - Good: Cast light jigs near the edges of vegetation or a small piece of worm under a bobber. Black Crappie - Fair: Try casting or vertical fishing small colored jigs near the weed edges. Northern Pike - Good: Try vertical jigging near the edges of weed lines or casting and retrieving weedless spoons through the curlyleaf pondweed.

Interior rivers continue to fall and angling opportunities are on the rise for the upcoming weekend. Reports are that smallmouth bass, walleye and channel catfish are once again on a good bite, especially catfish. Trout streams remain in excellent condition, for further information contact the N.E. District Office at 563-927-3276.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER
Mississippi River Pool 9
Water levels rose to 9.9 feet at Lansing last week, but are expected to stabilize and fall slightly over the next week. Water temperature is in the low 70's. Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Drum continue to bite well on worms on the bottom. Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth should be moving into spawning areas in the backwaters. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are close to spawning. Float a minnow or a worm on a bobber along rip rap with current. Flathead Catfish - Fair: Flathead catfish are getting more active as they prepare for the spawn. Fish deep holes along main channel or side channel closing dams using live bait. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are on the spawning beds. Fish backwater area shorelines with small tackle tipped with a worm. Walleye - Fair: Walleyes have scattered to wing dams and deep closing dams. Try slow trolling a crawler rig along the wing dams.

Mississippi River Pool 10
Water level has risen to 18.3 feet at Lynxville and is expected to rise slightly the next few days then fall slowly over the next week. Water temperature is in the lower 70's.  Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Drum continue to bite well on worms on the bottom. Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth should be moving into spawning areas in the backwaters. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are close to spawning. Float a minnow or a worm on a bobber along rip rap with current. Flathead Catfish - Good: Flathead catfish are getting more active as they prepare for the spawn. Fish deep holes along main channel or side channel closing dams with live bait. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are on the spawning beds. Fish backwater area shorelines using small tackle tipped with a worm. Walleye - Fair: Walleye have scattered to wing dams and deep closing dams. Try slow trolling a crawler rig along the wing dams.

Mississippi River Pool 11
Water level has risen to 9.9 feet at Guttenberg and is expected to rise slightly the next few days then fall slowly over the next week.  Water temperature is in the low 70's. Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Drum continue to bite well on worms on the bottom. Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth should be moving into spawning areas in the backwaters. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are close to spawning. Float a minnow or a worm on a bobber along rip rap with current. Flathead Catfish - Fair: Flathead catfish are getting more active as they prepare for the spawn. Fish deep holes along main channel or side channel closing dams with live bait. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are on the spawning beds. Fish backwater area shorelines using small tackle tipped with a worm. Walleye - Fair: Walleye have scattered to wing dams and deep closing dams. Try slow trolling a crawler rig along the wing dams.

The Upper Mississippi River levels area a little high, but are fairly stable. Water temperatures have also been stable into the low 70's over the past week. Now is a good time to be fishing on the Mississippi with plenty of water to get into backwaters and stable water to hold feeding fish in good areas.

Mississippi River Pool 12
Water level is 8.9 feet at the Dubuque tailwater and 11.1 feet at the RR bridge. These levels are up from last week and water levels are expected to gradually rise and then hold steady. Water temperature in the main channel is 74 degrees, similar to last week. Northern Pike - Good: The River has a good population of northern pike and they have been biting in numerous locations. Spinners work best. Walleye - Good: Walleyes are on the wing dams and anglers using crawlers are having the most success. Largemouth Bass - Fair: The bass bite seemed to be off the past few weeks, but bass populations are very good in the river and we expect them to pick up soon. Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Lots of freshwater drum can be caught. Cut out all the red meat when cleaning them and they are a fine eating fish. Throw them immediately on ice if you plan on eating them. Channel Catfish - Excellent: Lots of catfish are being caught off of rock lines and piles. Those bluish looking catfish are NOT blue catfish, rather the male channel cat in spawning colors. Common Carp - Excellent: Bowfishing in the shallow backwaters should be excellent this weekend; the carp are rolling.

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water level is 9.9 feet at Bellevue which is up from last week. Expect water to slowly rise and then hold steady. Good fishing was reported this week. Walleye - Good: Walleyes were reported back on the wing dams.  Most anglers are using a small crawler rig. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Spring Lake has been producing some nice sized bass for tournament anglers. Smaller bass are being caught in the upper tailwater reaches, although they are not plentiful yet. Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Loads of freshwater drum are being caught, many from bank anglers. Use large crayfish to catch really large drum. Channel Catfish - Excellent: Catfish angling really picked up the last few weeks. Most anglers are using stink bait in flowing sloughs, especially above log jams or along rock piles. Northern Pike - Fair: Not a lot of pike reported this week, but the pike populations are excellent and even Green Island is producing some pike. Common Carp - Excellent: The time is now to go bowfishing for carp.  Places like Green Island should be excellent.

Mississippi River Pool 14
Water level was recorded at 8.9 feet at Fulton, 12.1 feet at Camanche and 6.8 feet at LeClaire.  These readings are all up a bit from last week. Water is expected to rise slowly all week and then hold steady. The water is a bit stained and that is a concern.  Hoping the new rainfall expected does not muddy the water too much to put fishing off. Freshwater Drum - Excellent: The drum bite is on. Simple sliding sinker and worms fished in current work best. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Some bass may still be spawning; we have not had many bass reports. Expect bass fishing to really pick up this summer. Channel Catfish - Excellent: The catfish bite is very good. Most anglers are using crawlers when drum fishing, but some anglers are using stink bait. The Rock Creek area is a good place to find channel cats. Walleye - Good: Walleyes have been biting on wing dams with leeches reported as the best bait.  Some are also biting on crawlers and some crankbaits are being thrown.

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water level is 9.3 feet at Rock Island, which up from last week. Expect water levels to slowly rise this upcoming week and then hold steady. Water temperature is around 75 degrees in the main channel. Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Freshwater drum are abundant in Pool 15 and can easily be caught from shore. Try fishing the eagles landing area with worm and egg sinkers. Channel Catfish - Good: Many cats are being caught with night crawlers fished on the bottom.

Water temperatures are in the low to mid 70's throughout the district.  Lots of fishing activity is going on with several species of fish on the bite. The water is a bit stained.

Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 9.21 feet at Lock and Dam 16 and rising. Tailwater stage is forecasted to reach 9.7 feet by early next week. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try fishing for channel catfish along areas with riprap floating crawlers or leeches under a bobber. Walleye - Fair: Some walleyes are being caught on the wing dams casting crankbaits or pulling three-way rigs with crawlers. White Bass - Slow: Some white bass are being caught in Sylvan Slough. Try casting jigs and twisters, spinner baits or crankbaits.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 7.89 feet at Lock and Dam 16 at Muscatine and rising. Tailwater stage is forecasted to reach 8.4 feet by Monday.  Walleye - Fair: Some walleyes are being caught on the wing dams casting crankbaits or pulling three-way rigs with crawlers. Try also trolling crankbaits out from GPC. Channel Catfish - No Report: Look for channel catfish along areas of riprap/rock. Float crawlers or leeches under a bobber along the shore.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 9.92 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and is rising. Tailwater stage is forecasted to reach 10.3 feet early next week. Channel Catfish - No Report: Look for channel catfish along the rocks. Try floating crawlers or leeches under a bobber along the rocks. White Bass - No Report: Look for white bass by Lock and Dam 17. Try casting jigs/twisters, small spinners or crankbaits. Some white bass can also be caught at the outlet of Odessa.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 6.36 feet at Lock and Dam 19 above Burlington. River level is forecasted to reach 6.6 feet. We have not received any fishing information for this pool this week. Channel Catfish - No Report: Look for channel catfish along riprap/rocky areas. Try floating crawlers or leeches under a bobber along the riprap. Walleye - No Report: Look for walleyes on the wing dams. Cast crankbaits or pull three-ways rigs with crawlers.

Mississippi River Pools 16-19: Tailwater stages have risen some the past few days. Water clarity is fair-poor. Some walleyes are being caught on the wing dams. Channel catfish are being caught fishing along rock. Remember to clean, drain, and dry your boat before going to another waterbody. If you have questions on fishing Pools16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST
Cedar River (La Porte City to Cedar Rapids)
Channel Catfish – Good.

Cedar River (Cedar Rapids to Moscow)
Channel Catfish – Good. Shovelnose sturgeon – Fair.

Central Park Lake
Bluegill - Good: Some nice bluegills are being caught on small jigs or worms in shallow pockets. Largemouth Bass - Good: Most fish are under the 15 inch limit. Try crankbaits, soft plastics or crawlers.

Coralville Reservoir
The lake is at summer pool of 683.4'. Channel Catfish - Good: Fish are moving to shallow rock for the spawn. Pitch jigs or live bait along the rocks. White Crappie - Fair: Most fish are moving off the shorelines. Try steeper banks or offshore brush. Black Crappie - Fair: Most fish are moving off the shorelines. Try steeper banks or offshore brush. Walleye - Fair: A few fish are being caught on crankbaits and jigs.

Diamond Lake
No minnows are allowed here. Black Crappie - Fair: Crappie fishing has slowed as the fish have pulled off the bank. Try around brush piles or suspended in open water. Bluegill - Good: Some 7-9 inch fish are being caught on worms and small jigs. Look for fish in shallow pockets as they are spawning now. Channel Catfish - Good: Catfishing is picking up on all types of baits. Most fish were 1-3 pounds.

Lake Macbride
The curlyleaf pondweed (vegetation) is dying off and there is a big algae bloom occurring. The water is very green and clarity is less than two feet. Black Crappie - Fair: Look for fish on deeper brush. Walleye - Fair: Anglers trolling spinner rigs and crankbaits are having some success. Most fish are 13-18 inches. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Look for fish around shallow rock and wood. Some fish are on beds and some are done spawning. Channel Catfish - Good: Stinkbait or worms have been best. Best reports were coming from east of the causeway.

Rodgers Park Lake
Black Crappie - Fair: Some nice sized fish are being caught. Redear Sunfish - Fair: Some 9-10 inch fish are being picked up in the shallows.

Pleasant Creek Lake
The lake is 8 feet low due to the upcoming lake restoration project. The main 4 lane ramps have been extended with rock to allow smaller boats to still get in. The farthest east ramp is the deepest, but caution still should be used. 4x4 vehicles only. Walleye - Fair: Crawlers or jig/twisters work best. White Bass - Fair: Jig/twister has been producing fish. Bluegill - Good: Try small worms in shallow pockets for spawning fish. Muskellunge - Fair: Several fish have been caught lately, although most have been unintentional.

Wapsi River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)
Channel Catfish - Fair: Crawlers work best.

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

Big Hollow Lake
Water clarity is good. The duckweed is back, but anglers can work around it without too much trouble. Water temperature has climbed to the low 70's. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are spawning. Try around jetties as they all have flat shallows covered with fine gravel around them. Channel Catfish - Good: Work around the riprap at the dam to find nice pan-sized fish.

Deep Lakes
Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass fishing remains fairly good, although most are smaller fish. A cloudy day with a light evening breeze to put a little ripple on the water helps. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are on the beds and are very easy to see, which means they can also see you. It’s a good time to break out the old fly rod and poppers.

Lake Belva Deer
Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are on the nests. Look for pockets in the curlyleaf beds to locate the nests. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass fishing remains good; with the curly leaf pondweed beds developing, work those edges and overtop the weed beds. Channel Catfish - Good: Try down at the dam or up at the upper end of the lake; fish the underwater mounds which have riprap on their tops.

Lake Darling
Water temperature is 78-79 degrees. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are on the beds, but with the warm water temperatures the bluegill eggs will hatch fast, in a matter of a week a male will be off a nest. You may have to move around to find active nests. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass fishing remains good; work the shallow water habitat. Early morning or late afternoon is best.

Lake Geode
Bluegill - Good: They are on the beds. With the water clarity, you can back off a little bit from the beds so that they can’t see you. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass are in fairly shallow. Work the edges of the water willow beds. Channel Catfish - Good: The dam face is a good place to find spawning catfish. Try also the upper end of the lake where Cedar Creek enters the lake.

Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)
Water levels are rising slightly, but are forecasted to start to drop by Sunday. Channel Catfish - Good: Catfish are starting to spawn; look for the males to be around the cut banks and the upper ends of the brush piles. Look for overhanging mulberry trees, their berries are starting to ripen and catfish have a sweet tooth.

Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)River levels seem to be stable. Catfish are continuing to bite. Channel Catfish - Good: Anglers are doing pretty good using stink bait. Try also a grass frog.

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

Bob White Lake
A complete fisheries renovation was completed in September. Fingerlings were stocked in the fall.

Hawthorn Lake
Largemouth Bass - Good: Use crankbaits or spinner baits around brush piles and other underwater structure. Try also rubber worms or crawdad imitating lures on rip-rapped shorelines. Black Bullhead - Fair: Use night crawlers fished on the bottom. Black Crappie - Fair: Use small jigs or a jig and a minnow. Try different depths until you find active fish. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are biting on small jigs tipped with a chunk of night crawler. Sorting is needed for larger fish, with most fish running about 7 inches.

Lake Keomah
Try crankbaits and spinner baits around the end of the rock jetties and along the shorelines. Use a small jig tipped with a minnow along the shoreline for crappies and a small jig tipped with a chunk of night crawler for bluegills. Try different depths until you find active fish.

Lake Sugema
Largemouth Bass - Fair: Target shorelines or rock jetties using crankbaits or spinner baits. Try also jig and pig combos. All 12 -16 inch largemouth bass must be immediately released. Black Crappie - Fair: Use jigs or jig and minnow combinations in areas with 4-8 feet of water. Try different colors and different depths until you find active fish. Walleye - Fair: Use a jig tipped with a minnow or a night crawler along the dam or other rip-rapped shorelines. Try also minnows fished under a bobber.

Lake Wapello
Largemouth Bass - Good: Use rubber lizards or plastic crawdads around the cedar tree piles and along the shoreline. Try also crankbaits in the same areas. Bluegill - Slow: Use a chunk of night crawler under a bobber. Keep moving until you find active fish. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try cut bait or night crawlers fished along the shorelines with larger rocks as the channel catfish are shallow looking for areas to spawn.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 905.51. The current surface water temperature is 73 degrees. Lake Rathbun contains zebra mussels, so make sure to properly drain, clean and dry equipment before transporting to another water body. Black Crappie - Fair: Target areas with structure. Most fish have spawned and have moved out from the shorelines. Try jig and minnows combinations or minnows fished under a bobber. Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish are biting on night crawlers and cut bait. Channel catfish are in the shallows spawning, so try areas with big rocks such as the dam or around the bridge at Bridgeview. Walleye - Fair: Troll or drift night crawlers around underwater islands or submerged points. Casting jigs in the shallows can also produce catches of walleye.

Red Haw Lake
Bluegill - Fair: Use a chunk of night crawler under a bobber in shorelines and areas near structure. Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass have been hitting on rubber worms or lizards and also on spinner baits. Target rocky shorelines and along the fishing jetties. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use cut bait or night crawlers and fish along the shorelines that are rocked.

Take your trash with you so your favorite fishing spot is clean and litter free. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions regarding angling in south central Iowa.

SOUTHWEST
Ankeny Lake (DMACC)
Bluegill - Good: The high numbers of 6-7.5 inch bluegills spawning close to shore right now can provide a good opportunity to introduce young anglers to fishing. Cast small pieces of crawler under a bobber just past the narrow band of vegetation around the edge.

Big Creek Lake
Walleye - Good: Walleyes are being caught trolling spinner rigs with minnows in 5-15 feet of water and jigging tipped with crawlers or minnows. Focus on the upper/shallow 1/3rd of the lake. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are shallow right now < 4 feet of water. 8-9 inch fish are being caught on small jigs tipped with crawlers fished under bobbers. Target aquatic vegetation or rip rap and don’t be afraid to cast right next to shore.

Don Williams Lake
Black Crappie - Good: The crappie population is strong at Don Williams this year. Most fish are 8-9 inches, but they are not being caught close to shore. Slowly troll or drift 1/8 ounce jigs tipped with minnows or small white or chartreuse twister tails out from shore in 15-20 feet of water in the upper half of the lake. Crappies are suspended from 5 to 10 feet down.

Hickory Grove Lake
Black Crappie - Fair: A fair to good crappie bite has been going at Hickory Grove. They are being caught near the wood habitat, especially in the bays. Cast bright colored chartreuse panfish jigs or live minnows under a bobber close to treefalls and alongside the shoreline shrubbery that hangs out into the water. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are being caught shallow fishing small jigs tipped with wax worms or small pieces of crawler. Hickory Grove can produce some nice 7 to 8.5 inch bluegills.

Lake Ahquabi
Black Crappie - Fair: Few crappies are being caught shallow. Suspended fish are being picked up drifting or slow trolling 1/16 or 1/8 ounce jigs with twister tails in water 10 feet or deeper. Start out from the west shoreline or out from the face of the dam. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills can be caught near shore with small jigs tipped with a crawler under a bobber near treefalls on any of the rip-rap banks and in open pockets in the vegetation close to shore in 2-4 feet of water. Keep moving if you aren’t catching fish.

Mariposa Lake
Black Crappie - Good: Good catches of crappies and bluegills are being caught shore fishing off the face of the dam using small panfish jigs tipped with crawlers.

Red Rock ReservoirBlack Crappie - Fair: High water levels are giving anglers a challenge to locate crappies. Start by fishing minnows near any flooded rock and riprap, willows or shoreline vegetation in bays off the main lake and especially the Whitebreast arm. Try drifting or trolling minnows and panfish jigs in these bays to target fish not spawning. White Bass - Good: Anglers casting jigs with spinners below at the Roberts Creek outlet are doing well on white bass and also catching the occasional crappie.

Roberts Creek Lake
Black Crappie - Fair: Crappies are moving back off the shore and the post spawn pattern should emerge. Drift small jigs or spinners in the main lake.

Rock Creek Lake
Black Crappie - Fair: Crappie fishing is good. The crappie spawn is winding down, so anglers should begin to move out into the main lake and find offshore habitat or drift the main lake with small jigs and minnows.

Bluegill fishing is good to excellent in Central Iowa lakes right now. For information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, contact Andy Otting or Ben Dodd at 515-432-2823.

Cold Springs District Farm Ponds
Water clarity has improved in most ponds after heavy rains in May. Always get permission before fishing private ponds. Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers reported large catches of crappies using jigs and minnows under a bobber. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are spawning and close to shore in many ponds at this time. Channel Catfish - Fair: Cast shad sides or cut bait in the upper ends of ponds. Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass are hitting a variety of lures and soft plastics right now.

Cold Springs Lake
Bluegills are spawning and largemouth bass are being caught around the lake. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are being caught next to the pump house and along the bluff. Fish will average 8 inches. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Cold Springs has a good bass population of all sizes. The lake has an 18 inch length limit on largemouth bass.

Greenfield Lake
Greenfield Lake has a good panfish population. Bluegills are close to shore spawning. Crappies can be caught drifting. Black Crappie - Fair: Crappies can be caught drifting. Fish will average 9 inches. Channel Catfish - Fair: Greenfield is a good lake for catfishing. Cast shad sides or cut bait around jetties to catch fish averaging 2 pounds. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are spawning and can be caught on small jigs tipped with crawler. Fish are 8 inches.

Lake Anita
Anglers are catching crappies on the vegetation edges all around the lake. Bluegills are spawning and close to shore. Black Crappie - Good: Cast jigs along vegetation edges and around underwater reefs. There is a large year class of 8 to 9 inch fish. Bluegill - Good: Cast small jigs tipped with power bait to catch bluegills up to 9.5 inches. Anglers report good catches on the road bed. Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass can be caught along vegetation line all around the lake. Fish are all sizes.

Lake Manawa
Anglers are still catching a few crappies. Catfish are picking up on the south and west side of the lake.  White Crappie - Slow: Crappies have moved off shore. Cast jigs or minnows under a bobber on the lake side of the canals. Fish will range in size up to 12 inches. Walleye - Fair: Drift crawlers or slow trolling crankbaits on the south side of the lake. Channel Catfish - Good: Anglers are catching catfish with cut bait and Sonny’s dip bait on the west side of the lake close to shore. Fish will average 2 pounds.

Littlefield Lake
Littlefield has a good catfish population. Bluegills are close to shore spawning. Water clarity has improved. Channel Catfish - Fair: Anglers are catching catfish along the dam. Use cut bait or shrimp. Black Crappie - Fair: A few crappies are being caught drifting and casting cedar tree piles. Fish will average 10 inches. Bluegill - Good: Cast the shoreline to find spawning bluegills. Fish will average 8.5 inches.

Meadow Lake
Meadow Lake has a good bluegill and crappie population. Bluegills have moved up on underwater reefs to spawn. White Crappie - Slow: Meadow has a small population of large white crappie. Fish around the jetties and underwater reefs to catch fish up to 14 inches. Black Crappie - Fair: Fish surveys indicate a large year class of black crappie in Meadow. They will average 8.5 inches. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are moving up on the reefs to spawn. Fish will average 8 inches.

Mormon Trail Lake
There is a big year class of 9 inch black crappies in Mormon Trail Lake that is expected to provide good fishing this year. The lake also has a good largemouth bass and catfish population. Black Crappie - Fair: Fish deeper brush piles for post spawn crappies. Fish will average 9 inches. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills will spawn on the south side of the lake. Fish will average 8 inches. Largemouth Bass - No Report: The lake has a good bass population.

Prairie Rose Lake
Anglers report catching spawning bluegills on the underwater reefs and gravel spawning beds placed in the lake. Prairie Rose water clarity is good. Bluegill - Good: Quality size bluegills can be caught on top of underwater reefs and pea gravel spawning beds placed in the lake during the renovation. Tip small black jigs with power bait or crawler. Largemouth Bass - Good: Prairie Rose has many 10 to 12 inch bass in the lake at this time. Channel Catfish - Fair: Anglers are beginning to pick up 12 to 14 inch channel catfish on night crawlers under a bobber.

Viking Lake
Largemouth bass fish is good at Viking. Crappies can be caught around the underwater reefs and in brush piles. Water clarity is good. Channel Catfish - Fair: Cast shad sides or cut bait on the edge of vegetation. Fish will average 2 pounds. Black Crappie - Fair: Drift or cast to brush piles using jigs tipped with crawler or power bait to catch 8 to 10 inch crappies. Largemouth Bass - Good: Viking has a good bass population. Cast swim baits or plastics along vegetation and around structure to catch fish of all sizes.

Willow Lake
Bluegills and redears are spawning at Willow. The lake has excellent water clarity. Bluegill - Fair: With such good water clarity, spawning fish are hard to get close to. Find beds and cast from a long distance to catch bluegills averaging 8.5 inches. Redear Sunfish - Fair: Fish with a whole crawler under a bobber to catch redear up to 12 inches. Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish are being caught late afternoon and after dark on cut bait.

This is a good time to get out and fish in the southwest district. Bluegills are spawning and anglers report good bass and catfishing. For more information, call the Cold Springs District Office at712-769-2587.

Lake Icaria
Bluegill - Fair: Bluegill up to 8.5 inches have been caught with jigs fished near cedar tree brush piles or the fishing jetties. Walleye - Fair: Walleye of all sizes have been caught trolling crankbaits or night crawler harnesses near main lake points. Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish of all sizes have been caught using night crawlers fished near rocky shoreline areas.

Lake of Three Fires
Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass up to 19 inches have been caught using spinners fished along the weed line. Bluegill - Good: Bluegill up to 8 inches have been caught with night crawlers fished along the weed line.

Little River Watershed Lake
Walleye - Fair: Walleye up to 20 inches have been caught trolling night crawler harnesses along main lake points. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegill up to 9 inches have been caught with night crawlers fished near cedar tree brush piles or shallow rock/sandy areas.

Green Valley Lake
Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass up to 19 inches have been caught using spinners fished along rocky structure. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegill up to 8.5 inches have been caught with night crawlers or jigs tipped with a wax worm fished near cedar tree brush piles. Walleye - Fair: Walleye of all sizes have been caught using night crawlers fished along rocky structure.

Three Mile Lake
Black Crappie - Slow: Crappies up to 13 inches have been caught with minnows or jigs fished near the flooded timber. Bluegill - Slow: Bluegill up to 7 inches have been caught using night crawlers fished near the flooded timber. Walleye - Slow: Few walleye have been caught with night crawlers fished along rocky shoreline areas or the roadbed.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
Bluegill - Slow: Bluegills up to 10 inches have been caught using night crawlers fished near the flooded timber. Black Crappie - Slow: Crappies up to 12 inches have been caught with minnows fished near the flooded timber. Walleye - Fair: Walleye of all sizes have been caught using night crawlers fished along rocky shoreline areas.

Water temperature in Mount Ayr district lakes is in the mid 70's. For more information, please contact the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.

Missouri River (Sioux City to Little Sioux)
Channel Catfish - Fair: Use cut bait, stink bait or crawlers fished on the bottom. Shovelnose sturgeon - Slow: Crawlers fished on the bottom work well. Flathead Catfish - Fair: Live chubs should work well.

Missouri River (Little Sioux to Council Bluffs)
Channel Catfish - Fair: Cut bait, stink bait or crawlers fished on the bottom has been the most effective. Flathead Catfish - Slow: Live chubs work well. Shovelnose sturgeon - Slow: Use crawlers fished on the bottom.

Missouri River (Council Bluffs to Missouri State Line)
Channel Catfish - Slow: Try cut bait, stink bait or worms fished on the bottom. Blue Catfish - Fair: Use cut bait. Flathead Catfish - Slow: Chubs and goldfish work well.

The Missouri River at Decatur, Nebraska is at 21.60 ft. /32,200 cfs./ 72 degrees Fahrenheit. The Missouri has fallen 1.17 feet from last week. The Missouri River levels and water conditions have improved through the week.