Tuesday, May 24, 2016

North Dakota Fishing for Free June 4-5

North Dakotans who want to give fishing a try are reminded they can fish for free June 4-5.

State seal of North Dakota

That is the state’s Free Fishing Weekend, when all residents age 16 and over can fish any North Dakota water without a license. Residents age 15 and under do not need a fishing license at any time of year.

“It’s a great chance for people who may be new to fishing, to give it a try,” said Greg Power, fisheries chief for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. “There are lots of diverse, quality fishing opportunities scattered across the state.”

Fishing regulations and information on fishing waters is available on the Game and Fish website at gf.nd.gov, and in the current regulations guide available at license vendor locations.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Oklahoma Governor weighs in on Feral Hogs with Veto Pen and Executive Order

Wild pig (Sus scrofa) stop near the Kennedy Sp...

Governor Mary Fallin issued an executive order directing the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) to streamline the issuance of permits to exterminate feral hogs on private land.
    She said her order will allow safe and responsible feral hog eradication in Oklahoma.
    The governor also vetoed a measure that would have allowed the eradication of feral hogs on public land with spotlights at night without game warden notification or a hunting license, citing potential safety issues.
    Fallin said Senate Bill 1142 contained several provisions -- such as eliminating the permitting requirement for those who want to exclusively shoot feral hogs, authorizing nighttime removal and allowing the use of certain technology to eradicate feral hogs -- that would endanger people on public hunting lands.
    "We must be willing to employ every available method of elimination if we want to eradicate this destructive nuisance," Fallin said. "While research and experience have demonstrated that trapping feral swine proves to be the most effective method of eradication, private property owners should have at their disposal every tool available. As a result, I believe adjustments to current eradication practices should be made."
    Fallin's Executive Order 2016-16 directs the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation to develop rules that include:
Authorizing landowners on private property to remove or attempt to remove feral swine at night, with the use of night-vision equipment, off-road vehicles to pursue or follow feral swine, as well as handheld or vehicle-mounted headlights or other powerful lights to pursue or follow feral swine. At no time, however, will pursuing feral hogs on public roadways or discharging firearms from a public roadway be allowed.
Requiring private landowners to agree to provide advance notification to a game warden assigned to the county in which extermination efforts will occur before each attempt to remove feral hogs.
Explaining how users may obtain information on feral hog eradication, such as a link to the agency's website.
    The rules are to take effect Nov. 1.
    There are an estimated 1.6 million feral hogs in Oklahoma. They are present in every county and are estimated to cause more than $1 billion in damage each year.
    "Feral swine is an invasive species that inflicts significant damage on Oklahoma ranch and farmland, and can hurt or even kill domestic livestock and other wildlife," the governor wrote in her veto message. "Although I support the intent of this bill, which is to make it easier to remove or attempt to remove feral swine, the bill's real-world application to public property like state parks and Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) would create an unreasonable public safety threat and a conservation crisis."
    Fallin's actions were met with widespread support.
    "American Farmers & Ranchers applauds Governor Fallin for her veto of SB 1142 and subsequent executive actions to responsibly address the feral hog problem in our state," said Terry Detrick, president of American Farmers & Ranchers. "We look forward to working with the Department of Wildlife Conservation in the development of a process that is beneficial for Oklahoma landowners."
    Michael Kelsey, executive vice president of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association, said, "Control of invasive feral swine will take a long-term, cooperative approach with aggressive and effective strategies. We appreciate the governor recognizing the challenges of this issue and issuing an order that offers opportunities to continue working toward solutions."
    Tony Clark, president of the Oklahoma State Game Warden Association, said, "We commend Governor Fallin for vetoing this bill and appreciate her careful consideration and commitment to protecting everyone who enjoys wildlife now and for future generations."
    Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese and Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment Michael Teague said the governor's veto and executive order expand the options available to the state as it seeks to exterminate feral hogs.
    "We will continue to pursue avenues to expand that effort. At the same time, we are protecting public safety and maintaining the ability to enforce illegal poaching of deer during gun season," Reese said.
    "While trapping remains the best way to eradicate this invasive species, the Governor's actions today will allow private property owners another tool to protect Oklahoma's natural resources. I look forward to working with stakeholders and ODWC to streamline the depredation process," Teague said.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

SPRING FISHING IN FULL SWING ACROSS IOWA

English: Iowa Department of Natural Resources logo

Crappies and bluegills are biting in small ponds and lakes across Iowa. Spring panfish fishing is a great opportunity to introduce beginners of all ages to fishing.
“Late May and early June is an excellent time to take kids fishing since many species are spawning and do not spook as easily,” said Joe Larscheid, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Bureau. 
“Parents can make the trip more memorable by bringing snacks, taking photos and celebrating each fish as if it were a record breaker,” said Larscheid. “Sharing and teaching fishing skills to our kids will help pass along this Iowa tradition.”
Look for any type of structure in the water, like rocks or a pile of brush or gravel to find bluegills or crappies. Bass will be around brush or boat docks or rock piles. Pinpoint panfish hotspots with downloadable fishing structure location maps available on the DNR’s Fishing Maps website.
“Keep the hooks, bobbers and bait small because panfish have small mouths,” Larscheid said. “The biggest problem we see is anglers using too heavy of line with large bobbers and hooks. Use as light of tackle as you can. I suggest using four pound line, a bobber the size of a quarter and a size 8 hook.”
“We have a lot of good fishing opportunities close to home,” Larscheid said. “Make sure a rod and reel are part of any weekend plans. Fishing makes memories that will last a lifetime.”
Anyone catching their first fish is encouraged to take a photo of it and send it in to receive the DNR’s first fish award. The DNR will commemorate the event with a certificate suitable for framing with the submitted photo. Apply for a first fish certificate online athttps://programs.iowadnr.gov/masterangler/ or complete the form in the Iowa Fishing Regulations and mail it in.
Enjoy Iowa’s outdoors and spend some time fishing this spring. Find tips for catching crappie, bluegills and yellow bass on the DNR website at www.iowadnr.gov/fishing.

How to build a butterfly and pollinator garden in seven steps

Monarch butterflies and pollinators are in trouble. You can help by planting a pollinator garden! You can plant a garden anywhere - your yard, school, church, business or even in a pot for your front steps.
Despite its namesake, milkweed is not a weed. These beautiful wildflowers are the only source of food for monarch caterpillars and essential for their survival. Plant milkweed that is native to your area and attract all kinds of pollinators. Photo by Joanna Gilkeson/USFWS.
Despite its namesake, milkweed is not a weed. These beautiful wildflowers are the only source of food for monarch caterpillars and essential for their survival. Plant milkweed that is native to your area and attract all kinds of pollinators. Photo by Joanna Gilkeson/USFWS.
Native wildflower gardens add a pop of color to your garden, help bumblebees and butterflies, and need less maintenance. This purple coneflower attracted both bumblebees and a crab spider! What's not to love? Photo by Jim Hudgins/USFWS.
Native wildflower gardens add a pop of color to your garden, help bumblebees and butterflies, and need less maintenance. This purple coneflower attracted both bumblebees and a crab spider! What's not to love? Photo by Jim Hudgins/USFWS.
A simple, native flower garden will attract beautiful butterflies to your yard and help pollinators stay healthy. In addition to nectar from flowers, monarch butterflies need milkweed to survive, so if you notice the leaves on your milkweed have been chomped, don’t worry, it’s a great sign!

Before gardening

Gather your supplies and research what varieties of milkweed and wildflowers are native to your area. You can also look up pollinator-friendly plant lists for your region. If you’re starting from seeds, find a local seed supplier.

What you’ll need

  • A yard, raised bed or some flower pots
  • Garden tools to break the soil or build a raised bed
  • Extra dirt and mulch
  • Native milkweed and nectar plants

Seven easy steps

  1. Choose your location: Butterflies enjoy basking in the sun. Gardens should be planted in sunny spots, with some protection from the wind.
  2. Take a look at your soil: Break ground to see the consistency of the soil in your yard. Soil may influence the kinds of plants you can grow, or may require special considerations. If you find that your soil type doesn’t match the plants you’d like to plant, you might consider building a raised bed or using flower pots.
  3. Prep your soil: If you’re planting in your yard, remove the lawn and current plant cover and rake the soil. Additional dirt can be helpful no matter the location and is necessary for raised beds and flower pots - add your soil to the bed or pot.
  4. Choose your plants: Find a nursery near you that sells native and local plants and milkweed for your area. Native plants are the ideal choice because they require less maintenance and tend to be heartier.
    • Choose plants that have not been treated with pesticides, insecticides or neonicotinoids.
    • Plant perennials to ensure your plants come back each year and don’t require a lot of maintenance.
    • Choose a diversity of plants that bloom throughout the seasons to ensure pollinators benefit in the spring, summer and fall. This will also ensure that your garden is bright and colorful for months!
  5. Choosing seeds or small plants: Small plants that have already started growing in a nursery are simple and show instant return on pollinator visits, especially if you are planting in a small space. Seeds are best if you have more time. If you’d like to use seeds, plan ahead to plant in spring or fall, giving the seeds time to germinate. Seeds can also be best if you are doing a very large garden as they tend to cost less. Remember to water your seeds even before you see plants.
  6. Plant your flowers and milkweed: For small plants, dig holes just big enough for the root system. Cover the roots with dirt and reinforce with dirt or straw mulch to reduce weed growth. For seeding, spread seeds across your freshly prepared garden and cover them with dirt. Consider adding some flat rocks so butterflies can bask in the sun!

  7. Wait, watch, water and weed your garden: It may take some time, but you will eventually see butterflies and other pollinators enjoying your garden. Make sure to weed and water your garden to keep it healthy.
Best of luck, and thank you for helping monarchs, bumble bees and other pollinators!
Help track monarch movements, milkweed growth and monarch life stages by reporting your sightings at http://journeynorth.org/monarch/
Visit the Monarch Joint Venture for even more details: http://www.monarchjointventure.org/get-involved/create-habitat-for-monarchs/

Friday, May 20, 2016

Michigan Fishing Report 5/20/2016


Surface water temperatures in the Northern Lower and the Upper Peninsula were still on the cold side but with much warmer weather in the forecast, anglers should start catching fish.    

Southeast Lower Peninsula


Lake Erie:  Even with the rain, wind and cold temperatures anglers were going home with a couple walleye.  Most were fishing near Stony Point, Brest Bay, and La Plaisance Bay when trolling spoons, crawler harnesses, and crankbaits or drifting bottom bouncers.  Purples, pinks, and fire-tiger are still good colors.  Walleye were caught in 18 to 25 feet but a few were found in shallower water.  A few walleye were caught by those trolling crawler harnesses near the Banana Dike.  Those targeting smallmouth bass in La Plaisance Bay had good catches in 10 to 15 feet while casting or jigging tube baits.  Shore anglers fishing the lagoons of Sterling State Park caught channel cats on crawlers and some crappie when floating a jig and minnow. 


Huron River:  Anglers were still picking up the occasional steelhead however the majority of fish were on their way out.  Anglers will find lots of white bass and smallmouth bass in the river.  


Detroit River:  Anglers are still getting some walleye but the white bass are in thick and that makes it harder to get your line down.  A fair to good number of perch were caught around the docks and marinas however many were throw backs.  


Oakland County:  The last blast of cold weather caused some of the bass on Cass and Union Lake to pull off the beds temporarily.  With the warmer temperatures, bass are still being caught along the shallow flats in both lakes.  Those doing best were casting hard jerk baits or crayfish imitations.  Cass Lake had a few good panfish catches in the canals and shallow coves.  


Lake St. Clair:  Cooler temperatures slowed the smallmouth bite in the south end of the lake but a few were caught in eight to 10 feet on chartreuse tube baits   Those fishing the bays, canals and off the banks did fairly well for largemouth bass with black and green jig-n-pigs or jerk baits. A good number of pike were taken on chartreuse tube baits.  Fair to good numbers of panfish could be seen along the shoreline on the left side as you leave the Clinton River cutoff launch.  Anglers caught crappie, bluegill and sunfish on crawlers and minnows.  On the north end, bass anglers were targeting the Metro Park and the Mile Roads.  Smallmouth were caught just north of the Harley Ensign launch in five or six feet.  Anglers caught pike.  Those targeting walleye had limited success with a gold crawler harness in seven feet north of Harley Ensign.  Panfish were caught on ice jigs with a worm in seven feet near the Selfridge launch. 


Clinton River:  The rock bass run is underway.  The best reports have come from anglers using a 1/16 ounce jig with purple and white tube baits near structure. 


St. Clair River:  Walleye fishing was good from Algonac to Port Huron.  Those jigging caught fish during the day while those whipping caught fish at night.  


Port Sanilac:  A couple Atlantic salmon were caught from the outside wall.  


Harbor Beach:  Lake trout are being taken straight out and north of the harbor in 80 to 110 feet with spin-glo’s or clean spoons just off the bottom.  Hot colors were frog or ghost dodgers with bright yellow, orange and green spin-glo’s or green, blue and perch colored spoons.  A few salmon were found in all directions.  Try 25 to 85 feet down in 45 to 90 feet with orange and black, blue and green alewives, or yellow tail spoons.   A couple steelhead were taken up high in the water column.  


Willow River:   Located a couple miles southeast of Grindstone City had smallmouth bass moving into the lower section.  The catch-and-release bass anglers were doing very well.  


Saginaw Bay:  Until recently, shore anglers outnumbered boat anglers.  When the weather allowed, boat anglers were fishing off the State Park, Linwood and out near the Spark Plug.  The odd walleye was caught between Sebewaing and Caseville and a couple fish were taken on a crawler harness in the Slot off Quanicassee.  Shore anglers on the Quanicassee River caught a mix of channel cats, rock bass, freshwater drum and carp.  Bow-fishing for carp is starting.  


Saginaw River:  Those fishing the lower river took a fair number of walleye between the Liberty Bridge and the mouth.  Shore anglers at Essexville caught some freshwater drum. 


Tittabawassee River:  Die-hard walleye anglers are still taking a few, but the bigger news is the white bass run is in full swing. The best fishing is downstream from Freeland, with the area around the Center Road launch producing well. The river was a bit high after the rain so focus on where the water swirls and current breaks.  Small crankbaits, small white jigs & twister tails, small spoons, spinners or minnows under a bobber all work.    


Southwest Lower Peninsula


Panfish action on the inland lakes was fair but should improve with much warmer weather by the end of the week.  Some anglers reported bluegills and crappie moving in to the shallows.   


St. Joseph:  Salmon fishing was slow.  Pier anglers using crawlers on the bottom did catch a few catfish and freshwater drum.  No perch to report.  


South Haven:  Lake trout fishing continues to be very good.  The most productive water was around 55 feet.  A couple steelhead and salmon were caught but most were lake trout.  Pier fishing for all species was slow.   No perch to report.   


Kalamazoo River:  Was still producing some suckers.  Those seeking catfish were using crawlers or cut bait.  For smallmouth bass, try fishing below the dams.     


Grand Haven:  Boat anglers found coho 35 to 120 feet down in 170 to 220 feet.  Orange spoons worked best up high in the water column.  Those trolling near the piers caught the occasional Chinook.  A few perch were caught in 40 to 60 feet.   


Grand River at Grand Rapids:  Most were waiting for the warmer weather.  Anglers should find smallmouth bass, suckers and catfish.  Check the backwaters for panfish.     


Grand River at Lansing:   Had good catch-and-release smallmouth bass fishing below the dams.  Anglers were floating crawlers and shiners.  


Muskegon:  Boats trolling off the end of the piers were finding a few Chinook.  Those heading out deep found coho 30 to 120 feet down in 160 to 230 feet when trolling orange spoons.  Pier fishing was slow.  


Whitehall:  Boat anglers have caught some Chinook and coho salmon.  Walleye are still being caught by those starting to fish at sunset.  Try deep diving body baits or plastic swimbaits in perch or fire-tiger.  



Northeast Lower Peninsula


Cheboygan:  The fish cleaning station was still closed.  Fishing on the big lake slowed with the cold weather and high winds.  Conditions and catch rates should improve this week.  


Cheboygan River:  Is still producing some steelhead and suckers but the bite for both species has slowed.  Walleye were caught on stick baits, crawlers and by those jigging.  Several pike and smallmouth bass were caught throughout the river.

  

Mullett Lake:  Fishing pressure was light due to high winds.  Those that did manage to get out caught a couple smallmouth bass on tube jigs and crank baits. 

 

Rogers City:  A few lake trout were caught near Seagull Point, Forty Mile Point, Swan Bay or Adams Point.  Try just off the bottom in 60 feet with five colors of lead with spoons and cowbells or dodgers with spin-glo’s near the bottom.    


Presque Isle:  Has been producing some really nice Atlantic salmon especially for those heading south towards Stoneport.  Be sure to run your lines off boards and away from the boat.  Good baits were spoons and body baits in orange, green, orange and silver or orange and gold.  Some lake trout were caught just off the bottom in 20 to 80 feet between the lighthouses.  Dodgers or cowbells with spin-glo’s were the ticket.  


Alpena:  Those able to get out did catch some walleye in the late evening and before sunrise.  Most were trolling body baits, rapalas, reef runners or hot-n-tot’s in dark colors like black and purple.  Pier and shore fishing were slow but those fishing in the late evening did have some luck.   


Thunder Bay River:  Steelhead were still making their way up to the 9th Street Dam.  Fly's, spoons, spinners and body baits worked best.   


Oscoda:  Pier fishing was slow with the cold water temperatures.  Some anglers were able to catch a few lake trout in shallow waters.  Those in search of walleye had limited success when casting body baits or drifting crawlers.  


Au Sable River:  Steelhead were still moving up into the river in good numbers. 


Higgins Lake:   Boats trolling rapalas, bombers and body baits caught lake trout in 80 to 110 feet.  A few perch were caught before the cold and snow last weekend.  Anglers found fish in 40 to 60 feet when using minnows.   


Houghton Lake:   Anglers are getting a few walleye here and there when trolling leech rigs or Hot-n-tots in chartreuse or wonderbread.  Crappie were still being caught in the canals just after sunset.  Bigger fish were caught out in the lake but you have to find them.  A few bluegills were caught in the flats on leaf worms.  Bass fishing was good especially for smallmouth when using leeches or crawlers.  Some pike were also caught.   


Tawas:  Pier fishing was slow.  A couple Atlantic salmon were caught on large gray shiners.  A few walleye were caught off the pier at night, and also down behind the State Police Post.  The few boats that went out were heading south toward Alabaster. 


Tawas River:  Shore anglers caught the occasional bass or walleye.  


Au Gres:  Boat anglers trolling in 15 to 35 feet off Whitestone Point, Point Lookout, and Pointe Au Gres caught walleye on crankbaits and crawler harnesses.  Shore anglers at the mouth of the Pine River near Standish caught some freshwater drum and channel cats. 


Au Gres River:  Shore anglers fishing the lower river caught a few pike when casting lures or channel cats when still-fishing with crawlers.   

  

Northwest Lower Peninsula


Petoskey:  High winds kept boats off of the lake.  When the wind allows, boat anglers should still find good numbers of lake trout.  


Bear River:  Water levels were receding.  A couple steelhead along with a decent size brown trout were caught on spawn bags and flies.  The “Bobber Hole” was full of brown trout that were just stocked.  Anglers reported chubs and even a rock bass in the river.  


Charlevoix:  High winds made fishing difficult but anglers should still find some good lake trout fishing when they can get out.  Pier anglers are picking up a few lake trout.  Some walleye were caught after dark.  Large groups of carp were in the channel.  


Traverse City:  Strong winds limited boat anglers but those that did make it out caught lake trout when trolling or jigging in the East Bay.  When they could find them, Cisco were also caught.  As the weather warms up, bass fishing should pick up.  


Frankfort:  Had good fishing for those trolling outside the harbor.  They caught good numbers of lake trout on cowbells and bright colored spoons.  Pier anglers caught lake trout and brown trout on spawn.  


Portage Lake:  Fishing slowed with the cold weather.  A few largemouth bass and some panfish were caught in the shallows.  


Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell:   Walleye were caught by those trolling crawlers or casting rapalas.  Some were starting to catch fish throughout the day while others were targeting them at night.  The crappie and bluegill bite was starting to pick back up with the warmer weather.  


Manistee:  Surface temperature readings were 46 degrees.  A small number of Chinook were caught in 60 to 100 feet.  Good numbers of lake trout are still being recorded.  Walleye are being caught at night.  The north pier is closed due to construction on the lighthouse.  


Manistee Lake:  Bass anglers reported moderate catches of smallmouth but overall the bite was slow.  Most were using crankbaits along the south end near Stronach.  A fair number of decent size pike were caught.   

  

Big Manistee River:  Catch rates for steelhead were low in all parts of the river.  A few drop-backs were reported in the lower end.  Brown trout and suckers were hitting on flies, minnows and beads up near Tippy Dam.  


Ludington:   Surface water temperatures were about 47 degrees.  Some brown trout were caught.  Good numbers of lake trout were taken in 60 to 100 feet.    


Pentwater:  Had reports of lake trout being caught near the pier heads in 50 to 70 feet and brown trout in 15 to 30 feet.   

 

Pentwater Lake:  Northern pike and smallmouth bass fishing are starting to heat up in the main lake as well as the channel.  Those casting rapalas or using live and frozen bait have caught some nice fish.  


Upper Peninsula


Keweenaw Bay:  Those trolling for salmon had slower catch rates with only a few coho and the occasional Chinook, rainbow, brown or lake trout taken.  They were trolling 15 to 45 feet down in 20 to 60 feet from the first bridge next to the Baraga State Park and around to the Falls River mouth with spoons and body baits in orange and green.  Those jigging a Swedish pimple and egg on a single hook caught whitefish in 70 to 95 feet.  The South Portage Entry saw a bit of a spike in catch rates for trout and salmon especially near the lighthouse and the breakwall.    


Menominee River:  With the musky opener, most anglers were targeting them but catch rates were slow.  One fish was recorded near Stephenson Island.  


Little Bay De Noc:  For walleye, the better catches came between the Third and the Center Reefs when trolling or drifting crawler harnesses in 18 to 30 feet but the best catches were for those jigging a crawler in and around 24 feet.  Water temperatures were between 46 and the low 50’s.  A good number of fish were reported between Garth Point and the “Narrows”.  A good number of smallmouth bass were reported near the mouth of the Ford River.  Several anglers had fair catches of perch off Gladstone Beach with crawlers in 25 feet.  A few pike were caught.  


Big Bay De Noc:   No word on walleye yet but perch anglers were getting some small fish in Garden Bay.  Good smallmouth action in Garden Bay, South River, Ogontz and near the Fish Dam Rivers for those using plastics, spinners and crankbaits.  Surface water temperatures were 38 degrees.  


Marquette:  A few coho, splake and the occasional Chinook were caught on spoons in the Lower Harbor.  Those trolling near the Chocolay and the Carp River had little success but those trolling crankbaits and jigging in the Upper Harbor near the “Bubblers” did manage to catch a few fish.  There are commercial fishing nets in the harbor.  Boat anglers are urged to use caution and watch for buoys marking the nets.  


Munising:  Those able to get out did catch a few Chinook and coho.  Surface water temperatures remain in the low 40’s offshore and 42 to 45 degrees nearshore.  No reports of any lake trout but a couple splake were taken by pier anglers.  


Grand Marais:  A few boats had limited success when trolling for coho.  Pier anglers targeting whitefish had mixed results.  The better fishing was in the morning and mid-day but no limit catches were reported.  The fish observed have been slightly larger than a few weeks ago and averaged 15 to 16 inches.  Water temperatures were still in the low to mid 40’s.  There was no shore activity at the Sucker River.   


St. Mary’s River:  Above the Soo Locks off Sherman Park, a few lake whitefish were caught in the shipping channel near Buoy #8 while fishing for yellow perch.  In Sault Ste. Marie, those trolling in the early morning caught a couple steelhead and Atlantic salmon on the Michigan side near the Power House with orange and black crank baits.  On the discharge side of the Clover Land Power Plant, a few whitefish were taken in 10 feet when drifting wax worms just off the swirling water of the turbine discharge.  Water temperatures were a cold 43 degrees and the water in Munuscong Bay had a brown stain.  The clear water around Moon Island was at 41 degrees.  At the mouth of the Munuscong River and off the State Park, a few rock bass were caught in 6 feet while trolling for walleye.  


Cedarville and Hessel:  Perch are still in the Hessel marina.  Splake fishing was good off the pier in Hessel, in Wilderness Bay, and the far west shore of Hessel Bay.  Pike fishing is now open and should be good.  


St. Ignace:  Cold windy weather kept boat anglers on shore and slowed activity in area rivers.  Only a few suckers and pike caught.  Those targeting walleye and steelhead reported slow catch rates.  


Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park offering a trio of interesting holiday weekend programs

From a chance to see live hawks and owls close at hand to a bear den visit and a hunt for Lake Superior agates, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is offering great fun and educational opportunities during the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
“Our free programs have continued to be very popular with park visitors,” said Bob Wild, parkJoe Rogers with a barred owl during one of his presentations. interpreter. “These particular events will allow us to showcase and interpret some of the valuable natural resources found here at the park.”
Joe Rogers of the Wildlife Recovery Association of Shepard, Michigan has entertained Ontonagon area residents and park visitors for years with his engaging “Birds of Prey” presentation.
A wildlife rehabilitator by trade, Rogers has passionately presented his program to audiences of all ages across the state. Rogers will feature several live birds during his presentation. During past events, small falcons like kestrels and merlins and various hawks and owls have been part of Rogers’ appearances.
He also will provide an update on Michigan’s peregrine falcon research.
“Joe’s energy and enthusiasm are quite evident during his presentations,” Wild said.
This program, which will be offered once on Saturday and Sunday during the holiday weekend, is sponsored by Friends of the Porkies.
Other programs scheduled over the weekend include a guided evening hike to a black bear den and a Union Bay beach walk hunt for Lake Superior agates.
Here is a schedule of the activities:
Live Birds of Prey
3 p.m. EDTSaturday, May 28 and 1 p.m. EDT Sunday, May 29 at the Wilderness Visitor Center. Joe Rogers of Wildlife Recovery Association will present his live “Birds of Prey” program. 1 hour.
Guided Bear Den Hike
6 p.m. EDTSaturday, May 28
Meet 1 mile south of the visitor center on South Boundary Road for this half-mile hike to an actual bear den. Along the way, learn basic bear biology, history of the den and the role hunting plays in managing Michigan’s black bear population. 1 hour.
Agates Rock
6 p.m. EDTSunday May 29
Join us as we learn to identify some of the common beach stones found along Union Bay, while we search for the elusive Lake Superior agates. Fun for all ages. Bring water shoes. We will hike from the boat ramp less than a half-mile. 1 hour.
All interpretive programs are offered free of charge.
For more details about these and other scheduled interpretive programs, contact Bob Wild, park interpreter at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, (906) 885-5206, email wildr@michigan.gov or visit the park’s web page and click on the link to the Wilderness Visitor Center.
At roughly 60,000 acres, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is Michigan’s largest state park, home to towering old-growth hemlock stands, roaring waterfalls and spectacular sweeping vistas. Annual visitation to the park is estimated at around 300,000 people.
A recreation passport is required for entry to the park.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Iowa Fishing Report May 19, 2016

Pomoxis nigromaculatus

NORTHWEST
Brushy Creek Lake
Anglers are picking up good numbers of bluegill in 10-15 feet of water and crappie near shore in the north end of the lake. Try areas near structure. Use a piece of crawler on a small jig under a bobber or small minnows.

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: Those fishing near shore with a crawler or small minnow on a jig are having some luck picking up crappie. Anglers are having the most luck in the marina and near the inlet. Walleye - Fair: Walleye fishing has been hit or miss, but anglers fishing from shore and boat are picking up some walleye. Use leeches, crawlers or crankbaits near shore and in the dredge cuts.

North Twin Lake
There are several reports of crappie being picked up near shore. Try near shore with minnows or crawlers on a jig suspended below a bobber.

Black Hawk Lake
Water levels are about 11 inches over the crest of the spillway. Water temperatures are in the low 60's. Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers are having some luck with a jig in 3-5 feet of water near shore. Bluegill - Good: Large numbers of bluegills 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 water. Walleye - Good: Anglers are having good success fishing for walleyes. Use leeches, minnows or a medium diver orange-colored crankbait. Fish are biting in the evening and especially after sunset in Town Bay and around Ice House Point in 3-6 feet of water. Anglers are doing well fishing rock piles and drop-offs. 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 and minnows fished in 1-5 feet of water. There is a 15-inch minimum length limit for largemouth bass on Black Hawk Lake.

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

Blue Lake
Water levels in the lake are high but fishing has been good.  Black Crappie - Fair: Use a jig fished under a bobber. Largemouth Bass - Good: With the water levels up, there is a lot of shoreline vegetation submerged. Concentrate on these areas with weedless lures. Bluegill – Fair.

Eldred Sherwood Lake
Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass continue to bite in the mornings and evenings. Bluegill – Good.

Upper Pine Lake
Largemouth Bass - Good: Fish the shorelines with a plastic worm or crankbait.

Clear Lake
Water temperature was in high 50's this past week and is pushing into the 60's. Channel Catfish - Good: Catfish are starting to use the shallows in the pockets of the cattails and rushes. Use a bobber and cut bait, worms or minnows. Yellow Bass - Excellent: Yellow bass have really turned on this past week. Anglers are having a fairly easy time catching as many as they want. Try near the island, Dodges Point, the rocky shoreline near the outlet or Billys Reef. Use a small 1/32 ounce hair jig tipped with a small piece of minnow or crawler under a bobber or with a couple split shot on bottom. Walleye - Good: Walleye action has picked up this week with the warmer weather. North and East shore docks have been good early in the morning. Boat anglers have been trolling or staying stationary on spots around the Dodges Point reef, Billy’s reef, the state reef or Dollar Dock Point. Shore fishermen have had good luck with minnows on a jig or a swimbait. Black Crappie - Good: Anglers have been catching crappies on the west side of the main lake and in the little lake in the rushes. Use a small jig and cane pole and dip it in pockets. Or fish the edges with a bobber and a minnow. Muskellunge - Good: Musky fishing has been better this week. Yellow Perch - Fair: Target perch inside the rushes on the north shore or near Farmers Beach.

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: Fish the shorelines with a small piece of worm on a 1/32 oz. jig and a bobber.

Torkelson Pit W.A. (north)
Largemouth Bass – Good. Bluegill – Good.

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
Black Bullhead - Fair: Look for action at the north grade to improve as water temperatures warm. Try crawlers on the bottom for the best action. Walleye - Good: Numbers of slot sized fish with the occasional keeper are being caught at night from docks; cast twister tails or minnow imitation lures. Black Crappie - Good: Fish are being caught from the Templar Park lagoon; sorting is in order.

Center Lake
Black Crappie - Good: Good numbers of fish are being caught from the pier. Use a minnow under a bobber.

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: Boat anglers fishing the north end docks located on the east side of the lake will catch good numbers of bluegill, crappie and yellow perch. Cast a mini jig and swim it back to the boat slowly. Yellow Bass - Fair: Dock anglers casting a mini jig will catch numbers of fish. Best action will be in the early evening hours. Black Crappie - Good: Cast small jig lures tipped with bait on the wooden docks. Yellow Perch - Good: Yellow perch has been "hit or miss" from the docks. Try early morning or evening for the best results.

Little Spirit Lake
Walleye - Good: Dock anglers are catching numbers of walleye. Black Bullhead - Good: Anglers report large bullheads are being caught. Fish a nightcrawler on the bottom 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.

West Okoboji Lake
Bluegill - Fair: Expect an upswing to the fishery once warmer weather returns; look for wooden docks for the best action.

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.

NORTHEAST
Volga Lake
A few roads in the park are scheduled for maintenance this year, but the park will remain open during this time. Black Crappie - Slow: 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 - Fair: A worm threaded on a hook fished under a bobber should catch bluegills moving in to warmer water.

Lake Hendricks
Fish activity remains slow, but should pick up as temperatures rise. Bluegill - Slow: Bluegills are looking for shallower water to build their nests in silty sandy substrate; the nests look like baby elephants stomped in the lake bed. Black Crappie - Slow: A few anglers are catching crappies with a small jig tipped with a minnow fished under a bobber. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Bass are cruising the shallow rocky shoreline likely keying in on the little bluegills. Try a bait that imitates a small bluegill.

Lake Meyer
Lake Meyer has about 8 feet of water clarity. Bluegill - Slow: Bluegills are hitting a hook tipped with a worm. Gills can be found along the rocky areas in the evening. Black Crappie - Slow: Crappie are beginning to bite. Use a hook tipped with a minnow.

Upper Iowa River (above Decorah)
River water clarity is excellent and levels are stable. Water temperatures are in the upper 50's. Walleye - Slow: Try around log jams or current breaks and under rock ledges for best luck. White Sucker - Slow: Anglers are still catching a few suckers. A worm on a hook fished off the bottom works best.

Upper Iowa River (below Decorah)
River clarity is excellent and levels are relatively stable. Water temperatures are in the upper 50's. The bite seems to be hit or miss. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Use small crankbaits, spinnerbaits and bright colored jigs tipped with minnow. Walleye - Slow: Crankbaits are working for walleye.

Cedar River (above Nashua)
River levels have stabilized. Water temperatures are in the upper 50's. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Use a jig tipped with a minnow. Walleye - Slow: A variety of baits are working for walleye. Be patient because when the bite is on, it’s on.

Decorah District Streams
Trout anglers should be aware that turkey hunting season runs through May 22. Hunters are highly camouflaged. Wear bright colors but NOT red, blue, brown or white. Morel mushrooms are also beginning to pop up. Our angler accesses on private property only allow for fishing. All other activities must be permitted by the landowner. Brook Trout - Good: Stream conditions are excellent and require a bit more stealth when approaching. 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. Use a hook tipped with a worm, cheese or dough ball.

Steadier temperatures are forecast for the weekend with temperatures in the upper 70's during the day to low 50's at night. Area lakes and streams are in excellent condition. Please contact the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324 for more information.

Silver Lake (Delaware)
Bluegills have moved into the shallows along the weedy edges of vegetation; catch has been good but quality has lacked. Bluegill - Good: Cast light jigs near the edges of vegetation or small piece of worm under a bobber.

George Wyth Lake
There have been good reports of quality size crappie being taken from George Wyth Lake. Try near the fishing dock or off of the jetties for some good crappie action. Black Crappie - Good: Cast hair jigs or various colored tube jigs near the shallows for some fast crappie action.

Harold Getty Lake
Catches of crappie and largemouth bass have been reported as being good on Harold Getty Lake. Black Crappie - Good: Cast hair jigs or various colored tube jigs near the shallows for some fast crappie action. Largemouth Bass - Good: Cast crankbaits or spinner baits along and near shoreline and structure; mornings and evenings have been the most productive.

South Prairie Lake
Reports have been good for crappie and bluegill on South Prairie Lake, but quality has been on the smaller side. Black Crappie - Good: Cast hair jigs or various colored tube jigs near the shallows and along submerged vegetation for some fast crappie action. Bluegill - Good: Cast light jigs near the edges of vegetation or a small piece of worm under a bobber.

Martens Lake
There have been a few reports of anglers catching northern pike in Martens Lake (a.k.a. Sweet Marsh). Northern Pike - Good: Best success has been to float a live chub or shiner under a bobber.

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

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
The Cedar River has provided some excellent smallmouth bass fishing this past week. Walleye fishing has remained steady with some reports of quality sized fish being caught. Walleye - Good: 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 - Excellent: Cast & retrieve crankbaits, spinner baits or topwater plugs near and along the rocky shorelines or woody debris. Channel Catfish - Good: Cut baits fished on the bottom have been producing some nice catches of channel catfish. Water temperatures still remain too cold for stink baits.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
The Shell Rock River has provided some excellent smallmouth bass fishing this past week. Walleye fishing has remained steady with some reports of quality sized fish being caught. Walleye - Good: 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. Smallmouth Bass - Excellent: Cast and retrieve crankbaits, spinner baits or topwater plugs near and along the rocky shorelines or woody debris. Northern Pike - Good: Artificial baits have been successful for pike this past week. Channel Catfish - Good: Cut baits fished on the bottom have been producing some nice catches of channel catfish. Water temperatures still remain too cold for  stink baits.

Smallmouth bass, walleye, northern pike and channel catfish continue to provide angler satisfaction on the interior rivers. Reports are really good on the Cedar and Shell Rock Rivers in particular. Crappies are staging in area lakes for the days of sunshine to move into the shallows for their annual spring spawn routine. Trout streams remain in excellent condition in Northeast Iowa, for further information contact the N.E. District Office at 563-927-3276.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER
Mississippi River Pool 9
Water level is 8.4 feet at Lansing and is expected to fall slightly before stabilizing over the next week. The road to the boat ramp at New Albin has reopened. Water temperature is 57 degrees. Freshwater Drum - Good: Drum continue to bite well on worms on the bottom. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth fishing slowed a bit with the cool weather, but should pick up as the water warms. Look for fish along backwater structure. Channel Catfish - Fair: Cut bait or worms on the bottom work best to find feeding cats. Walleye - Slow: Walleye should be moving towards wing dams, but fishing has been slow with so much water. Flathead Catfish - Fair: Flathead catfish are getting more active as they prepare for the spawn. Try deep holes along the main channel or side channel closing dams using live bait.

Mississippi River Pool 10
Water level is 16.8 feet at Lynxville and is expected to stabilize over the next week. Water temperature is 57 F.  Freshwater Drum - Good: Drum continue to bite well on worms on the bottom. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth fishing slowed a bit with the cool weather, but should pick up as water warms. Look for fish along backwater structure. Channel Catfish - Fair: Cut bait or worms on the bottom work best to find feeding cats. Walleye - Slow: Walleye should be moving towards the wing dams, but fishing has been slow with so much water. Flathead Catfish - Fair: Flathead catfish are getting more active as they prepare for the spawn.
Try deep holes along the main channel or side channel closing dams using live bait.

Mississippi River Pool 11
Water level is 8.2 feet at Guttenberg and is expected to fall slightly before stabilizing. Water temperature is a 57 F. Freshwater Drum - Good: Drum continue to bite well on worms on the bottom. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth fishing slowed a bit with the cool weather, but should pick up as the water warms. Look for fish along backwater structure. Channel Catfish - Fair: Cut bait or worms on the bottom work best to find feeding cats. Walleye - Slow: Walleye should be moving towards the wing dams, but fishing has been slow with so much water. Flathead Catfish - Fair: Flathead catfish are getting more active as they prepare for the spawn. Try deep holes along the main channel or side channel closing dams using live bait.

The Upper Mississippi River levels have fallen this week. Fishing action continues to improve as water levels become stable. Lock and Dam gates are all back in and boat ramps accessible. Water temperature is 57 F and is expected to rise with warmer weather forecasts.

Mississippi River Pool 12
Water level is 7.9 feet at the Dubuque tailwater and 10.2 feet at the RR bridge.  These levels are down from last week and water levels are expected to recede as the week progresses. Water temperature in the main channel is 58 degrees which is also down from last week.  Northern Pike - Fair: The River has a good population of northern pike. Walleye - Fair: Some nice reports of walleyes moving back on the wing dams, although some anglers report having trouble finding fish. Anglers are using crawlers for best results. Largemouth Bass - Slow: Bass seem to be hard to find this week. Expect larger females to move back on the spawning beds with warmer water in the upcoming week. Freshwater Drum - Good: Lots of freshwater drum can be caught.  Cut out all the red meat when cleaning them and they are a fine eating fish.

Mississippi River Pool 13
Water level is 8.8 feet at Bellevue which is down from last week. Expect the water to slowly recede all week. Fishing has been slow so far this spring, but walleyes are reported back on the wing dams. Walleye - Fair: Walleyes were on the wing dams but then scattered.  They now appear to be back on the wing dams with the lower water levels. Largemouth Bass - Good: Spring Lake has been producing some real nice sized bass for tournament anglers. Yellow Perch - Fair: no reports this week but all winter and spring we received good reports of nice sized perch. Freshwater Drum - Good: Loads of freshwater drum are being caught, many from bank anglers.  Use large crayfish to catch really large drum. Channel Catfish - Fair: Not much for catfish reports due to weather issues.  Most anglers are using cut bait. Northern Pike - Fair: Not a lot of pike reported this week, but the populations of pike are excellent.

Mississippi River Pool 14
Water level was recorded at 8.3 feet at Fulton, 11.7 feet at Camanche and 6.3 feet at LeClaire.  These readings are all down a bit from last week. Water is expected to recede slowly all week. Freshwater Drum - Good: The drum have started biting in earnest. Simple sliding sinker and worms fished in current work best. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Lots of small bass are being taken in the tailwaters, but some larger ones are coming out of bigger backwaters. Expect bass spawn to begin soon. Black Crappie - Fair: Not a lot of crappie reported, but they are quite nice sized when caught. Channel Catfish - Fair: Catfish like the high water levels and reports of anglers catching catfish have increased. Most anglers are still are using cut bait.

Mississippi River Pool 15
Water level is 8.9 feet at Rock Island, which is down two feet from last week. Expect water levels to recede further this upcoming week.  Not a lot of angling reported due to weather conditions. Last week’s rain muddied the area, but the water is fairly clean again and should be fishable if weather improves. Freshwater Drum - Fair: Freshwater drum are abundant in Pool 15 and can easily be caught from shore. Try the eagles landing area with worm and egg sinkers. Channel Catfish - Fair: Catfish were showing up in the creel, but weather conditions were not conducive this past week. Many are being caught by anglers fishing night crawlers on the bottom.

Cold nights are still suppressing the water temperature.  The main channel is around 60 degrees.  We are expecting panfish spawning to begin in earnest here over the next few weeks. Water levels are also predicted to fall slowly throughout the district this week. 

Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage is 9.02 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and falling. Fishing has been slow. Channel Catfish - Slow: Some channel catfish are being caught around Sunset Marina in the main channel. Use dip baits or crawlers. Try fishing from the mouth of the Rock River down below the 280 bridge. Walleye - Slow: A few walleyes are being caught in Sylvan Slough. Try vertical jigging with minnows or pulling three-way rigs with stick baits. Some walleyes are also being caught on the wing dams along Credit Island and by the 280 bridge. Smallmouth Bass - Slow: Some smallmouth bass are still being caught in Sylvan Slough around the bridges. Try casting a jig with a white twister tail. White Bass - Slow: Some white bass are being caught in Sylvan slough and above the Casino. Try casting jigs with twister tails.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage is 7.78 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and falling. The ramp at Big Timber is open. We have not received any fishing report information for this pool this week.  Walleye - No Report: Look for walleyes on the wigwams. Try casting crankbaits or trolling three-way rigs with stick baits. Some walleyes can be caught trolling crankbaits around GPC. White Crappie - No Report: Look for crappies in the backwaters around brush piles. Try fishing with minnows under a bobber or jigs and plastics.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage is 9.90 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and falling. The Toolsboro ramp is open. We have not received any fishing report information for this pool this week. White Crappie - No Report: Look for crappies in the backwaters around brush piles. Try fishing with minnows under a bobber or vertical jigging with minnows or plastics.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage is 6.59 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington and falling. We have not received any fishing information for this pool this week. White Crappie - No Report: Look for crappies in the backwaters around brush piles. Try fishing with minnows under a bobber or vertical jigging with minnows or plastics.

Mississippi River Pool 16-19: Tailwater stages have been falling the past few days. Main channel water temperature is around 59-60 degrees. Fishing has been slow. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

SOUTHEAST
Lake Geode
Water clarity is good. Water temperature is about 64 degrees, cool nights in the mid-40's are keeping it from getting much warmer. Good numbers of anglers have been out on the lake. Bluegill - Good: Male bluegills are in shallow staging for the spawn. Focus on the areas just outside the bedding areas.

Lake Belva Deer
Blue Sucker - Good: Bluegills are in fairly shallow getting ready for the spawn. Black Crappie - Slow: Anglers are having a hard time finding crappies; they may have moved back out deep into the flooded timber after that last cold snap.

Lake Darling
Water temperatures are back up to around 64 degrees after last weekend's cold snap. Water clarity is down to about 3.5 feet after last week's rain but is recovering. Black Crappie - Fair: Last Friday and Saturday’s cold weather pushed the crappies back out to deeper water. The better ones are out in 10-11 feet of water. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills remain in fairly close to shore. The nicer ones are a little over 8 inches. Use small jigs tipped with a piece of worm. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass are in shallow feeding on the little crappies that haven’t moved back out deep yet.

Lost Grove Lake
Water clarity remains good. Temperature is in the low to mid 60's. Black Crappie - Good: Crappies are still plenty active near shore. Lots of 9 inch fish with some in the 10 inch range.

Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)
The River is back down to about 1/2 bank. Channel Catfish - Good: Anglers are picking up some nice channel catfish on the bank poles. We haven’t heard about any big flatheads yet.

Big Hollow Lake
Water clarity is good. The duckweed is back again, but anglers can work around it without too much trouble. Water temperature is in the mid-60's. Black Crappie - Fair: Last Friday’s cold snap pushed the crappies out to 15 feet, but anglers were still able to catch a few out there. Bluegill - Good: Male bluegills are in shallow staging for the spawn. Worm and bobber will catch them. Try the gravel flats around the jetties.

Deep Lakes
Last weekend's cold snap slowed the fishing way down. The forecasted warm up should bring the fish back in. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Work the brush piles and the fallen trees to find some bass.

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

Hannen Lake
No minnows are allowed here. Black Crappie - Fair: Fish around brush piles. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are moving to shallow pockets to spawn. Largemouth Bass – Fair.

Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
Look for fish around shallow rock and brush, especially on warmer days. Bluegill – Fair. Black Crappie – Fair. Largemouth Bass – Fair.

Lake Macbride
Surface temperatures are up to the low 60's this week. Black Crappie - Fair: The bite should improve this weekend. Try around shallow rock and wood. Many fish are 9-10 inches. 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 rock. They are off the bank a bit on cooler days and tighter to shore on warmer days.

Central Park Lake
Bluegill - Good: Some nice bluegills are being caught on small jigs or worms. Look for them shallow on warm days.

Pleasant Creek Lake
The lake is 9' 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: Crankbaits work well. White Bass – Fair.

Diamond Lake
No minnows are allowed here. Black Crappie - Excellent: Look for crappies around shallow rock and brush. There are two age classes of crappies being caught, which are about 7-8 and 9-11 inches. Tube jigs have been the most productive. Chartreuse and black work well. Bluegill - Fair: Some 7-8 inch fish are being caught on worms and small jigs.

Coralville Reservoir
The lake is beginning to rise to summer pool. Boating above Bobbers Marina is not recommended. Channel Catfish – Fair. White Crappie - Fair: Try very shallow rock and wood on warm days. On cooler days, try brush piles off the bank a bit. Black Crappie - Fair: Try very shallow rock and wood on warm days. On cooler days, try brush piles off the bank a bit.

Sand Lake
You need a trout stamp to fish for and/or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Fair. Black Crappie – Good.

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

Lake Wapello
Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass have been hitting on spinner baits or crankbaits fished around the cedar tree piles or the shorelines. Bluegill - Slow: Use a chunk of nightcrawler under a bobber.

Red Haw Lake
Black Crappie - Fair: Use minnows fished under a bobber. Try areas with underwater structure or around trees in the water. Bluegill - Fair: Anglers have been catching bluegills with a chunk of night crawler under a bobber. Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass have been hitting on rubber worms or lizards and spinner baits.

Hawthorn Lake
Largemouth Bass - Good: Use crankbaits or spinner baits around brush piles and other underwater structure. Black Bullhead - Fair: Use night crawlers fished on the bottom. Black Crappie - Fair: The cooler weather last weekend slowed the crappie fishing, but warmer weather should push the fish shallow. Try small jigs or a jig and a minnow.

Lake Keomah
The road construction project at Lake Keomah State Park is ongoing, but the roads are now open to get to the lake. Target largemouth bass with crankbaits or spinner baits along the shoreline and around the fishing jetties. Use a small jig tipped with a minnow along the shoreline for bluegills and crappies.

Lake Sugema
Largemouth Bass - Fair: Target shorelines or rock jetties using crankbaits or spinner baits. Try also jig and pig combos. Black Crappie - Fair: Use jigs or jig and minnow combinations. Try areas in the flooded timber or rocky shorelines. Use different colors until you find the one the fish like. Walleye - Fair: Use jigs tipped with a minnow along the dam or other rip-rapped shorelines.

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

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 905.64. The current surface water temperature is 60 °F. Lake Rathbun contains zebra mussels so make sure to properly drain, clean and dry equipment before transporting to another water body. Black Crappie - Fair: Crappie fishing has started to pick up in some areas. Look for areas along the shoreline with structure as the fish are moving into these areas. Crappies are scattered in deeper water waiting to come shallow to spawn. Try jig and minnows combinations or minnows fished under a slip bobber. Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish have been biting on night crawlers and cut bait. Look for areas with water flowing into the lake or windblown shorelines. Walleye - Slow: Walleye fishing remains slow. Very few anglers have been targeting walleye this spring. Troll or drift night crawlers around underwater islands or submerged points for walleye.

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
Don Williams Lake
Black Crappie - Good: Crappies can be found in high numbers in Don Williams this spring. Their sizes are not large yet, but with selection a decent bag can be caught. Most fish are not tight to shore spawning yet. Slowly troll or drift 1/8 ounce jigs with small white or chartreuse twister tails out from shore in 15-20 feet of water. Crappies are suspended from 5 to 10 feet down. As the water temperature climbs into the mid to upper 60s, crappie will be more catchable near the shore using minnows under a bobber.

Beaver Lake
Black Crappie - Fair: Some crappie are being caught shallow near the dam, but more fish are being caught fishing minnows under a bobber in the submerged trees northwest of the boat ramp. Fish 3 to 6 feet deep.

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.

Rock Creek Lake
Black Crappie - Good: Crappie fishing is good. Anglers fishing in 2 to 6 feet of water with jigs tipped with live minnows or minnows under a bobber are doing well. The jetties around the southeast boat ramp are good areas for shore anglers to target first. Another good area during the crappie spawn is along the face of the dam, especially the western half.

Roberts Creek Lake
Black Crappie - Good: Crappie anglers are doing well on Roberts Creek. Crappies have moved shallow into the flooded vegetation and willows and are being caught mostly on live minnow presentations in water 2-4 feet deep.

Big Creek Lake
Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers are picking up a few crappies in the bays using minnows. The peak of the spawn is still to come, likely late in the 3rd week of May and into the fourth. Walleye - Good: Walleye are being caught trolling spinner rigs with minnows in 15-20 feet of water. Try the perimeter of the east boat ramp bay and the stretch between the marina ramp and beach.

Hickory Grove Lake
Black Crappie - Fair: A fair to good crappie bite has been going on 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 10 feet water or deeper Start out from the west shoreline or out from the face of the dam. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills have moved shallow and can be caught with small jigs tipped with a crawler under a bobber near treefalls on the rip-rap banks and in open pockets in the vegetation close to shore in 2-4 feet of water.

Red Rock Reservoir
Black 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. The spawn has not peaked yet, so drifting or trolling minnows and panfish jigs in these bays may help you locate fish. White Bass - Good: Anglers casting jigs with spinners below at the Roberts Creek outlet are doing well on white bass and are also catching the occasional crappie.

Crappie and 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.

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

Meadow Lake
Meadow Lake has a good bluegill and crappie population and is a good spot for early spring fishing. White Crappie - Slow: Meadow has a small population of large white crappie. Try 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. Concentrate on rocky shorelines and underwater reefs for spawning fish. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are moving up on the reefs to spawn. Fish will average 8.5 inches.

Mormon Trail Lake
There is a big year class of 9 inch black crappies in Mormon Trail Lake that is expected to provide some good spring fishing. Black Crappie - Good: Anglers reported catching crappies around the jetties and along the dam. Fish will average 9 inches. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills will spawn on the south side of the lake. Fish will average 8 inches.

Littlefield Lake
Littlefield has a good catfish population. The crappies are close to rocky shorelines in the lake. Channel Catfish - Fair: Anglers are catching catfish in the upper ends of the lake where water warms first. Use cut bait or shad sides for best success. Black Crappie - Good: Crappies are being caught along the dam casting jigs or minnows under a bobber. Fish will average 10 inches.

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.

Lake Anita
Anglers are catching crappies and bluegills in the east arm of the lake. Bluegills are moving up on the underwater reefs. Black Crappie - Good: Fish the pontoon area of the lake with jigs and minnows 2 feet under a bobber. Sorting is necessary for 10 inch fish. Bluegill - Fair: Cast small jigs tipped with power bait to catch bluegills up to 9.5 inches.

Viking Lake
Crappies are close to shore spawning at Viking Lake. Water clarity is good. Channel Catfish - Fair: Cast shad sides or cut bait on the edge of vegetation to catch catfish. Fish will average 2 pounds. Black Crappie - Good: Crappies have moved to shore at Viking to spawn. Concentrate around jetties and rocky shorelines to catch crappie averaging 9 inches. 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.

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 a crawler for best success. Largemouth Bass - Good: Prairie Rose has many 10 to 12 inch bass in the lake at this time.

DeSoto Bend at DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge
Anglers report catching walleye and crappie at Desoto Bend. White Crappie - Fair: A few crappies are being caught around rocky shorelines with minnow. Fish are 10 inches. Walleye - Slow: Anglers report catching walleye slow trolling minnows in 5 feet of water on sand bars.

Lake Manawa
Anglers are catching crappies in the canals and on rocky shorelines. Sorting is necessary for larger fish. A few catfish are being caught on the south side of the lake. White Crappie - Fair: Cast jigs or minnows under a bobber close to shore to catch crappies in the canals. Fish will range in size up to 12 inches. Walleye - Fair: Walleyes can be caught drifting crawlers or slow trolling crankbaits on the south side of the lake. Channel Catfish - Slow: Anglers are catching catfish with cut bait.

Anderson Area Pond 1
Anglers have reported good catches of crappie along the dam. Water clarity at Anderson water clarity is better this week. Black Crappie - Fair: Cast jigs 2 feet under a bobber along the dam or in the upper end by the parking area to catch crappie averaging 10 inches. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills can be caught along the dam and upper end of the lake with small jigs tipped with a crawler. Fish average 8 inches.

Cold Springs District Farm Ponds
Some ponds in the southwest district are still turbid from heavy rains three weeks ago. Always get permission before fishing private ponds. Black Crappie - Good: Anglers reported large catches of crappies using jigs and minnows under a bobber. Bluegill - Good: Bluegills are spawning and are close to shore in many ponds. Channel Catfish - Fair: Cast shad sides or cut bait in the upper ends of ponds for best success. Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass are hitting a variety of lures and soft plastics.

Atlantic Quarry Pond 3
White crappies have moved to shore and are spawning close to overhanging willow trees. White Crappie - Good: Cast close to overhanging willow branches to catch white crappie. Fish are 10 to 12 inches.

Crappies are spawning and close to shore. Anglers also report catching bluegills on beds in some locations. For more information, call the Cold Springs District Office at 712-769-2587.

Lake Icaria
Black Crappie - Fair: Crappies up to 10 inches have been caught with jigs or minnows fished near shallow rocky areas or cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegill up to 8.5 inches have been caught with jigs fished near the fishing jetties.

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

Lake of Three Fires
Black Crappie - Good: Black crappie up to 15 inches have been caught with minnows fished near cedar tree brush piles. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegill up to 8.5 inches have been caught with night crawlers under a bobber fished near cedar tree brush piles. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Largemouth bass up to 19 inches have been caught using spinners fished along rocky shoreline areas.

Green Valley Lake
Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass up to 19 inches have been caught with spinners fished near the dam or along the silt dam. 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.

Summit Lake
Bluegill - Fair: Bluegill up to 8.5 inches have been caught with jigs tipped with a wax worm fished in 4 feet of water. Yellow Perch - Fair: Yellow perch up to 10 inches have been caught with jigs tipped with a wax worm fished in 4 feet of water.

Three Mile Lake
Black Crappie - Slow: Crappies up to 9 inches have been caught with minnows fished near cedar tree brush piles or shallow flooded timber.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
Bluegill - Good: Bluegills up to 10 inches have been caught with night crawlers or jigs tipped with a wax worm fished near shallow gravel areas. Black Crappie - Slow: Crappies up to 12 inches have been caught with jigs or minnows fished near cedar tree brush piles. Yellow Perch - Slow: Yellow perch up to 12 inches have been caught with jigs or leeches fished near cedar tree brush piles or shallow flooded timber.

Water temperature in Mount Ayr district lakes is approximately 65 degrees. 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 or crawlers fished on the bottom. Sauger - Slow: Use a jig tipped with minnow or crawler.

Missouri River (Little Sioux to Council Bluffs)
Channel Catfish - Fair: Cut bait or crawlers fished on the bottom has been the most effective. Flathead Catfish - Slow: Chubs have been working well as bait.

Missouri River (Council Bluffs to Missouri State Line)
With water levels falling, fishing should start to pick up.  Channel Catfish - Slow: Try cut bait or worms fished on the bottom.

The Missouri River at Decatur, Nebraska is at 21.05 ft. /30,700 cfs./ 61 degrees Fahrenheit. The Missouri has fallen 0.24 feet from last week. The Missouri River is a little high especially the farther down river you are. Fishing has improved, with the nicer weather anglers are fishing on the Missouri.