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Iowa DNR Fishing Report for Week of January 18

NORTHWEST

Arrowhead Lake
Ice thickness is around 6 inches at the boat ramp. Black Crappie – Fair:  Bluegill – Fair

Black Hawk Lake
Ice thickness is around 10 inches off of Ice House Point boat ramp. This is where most of the activity is taking place. The aerators in Town Bay are in operation so expect open water and thin ice in this vicinity.  Anglers can also fish open water at the fish house in Town Bay; the area directly underneath the structure is kept open with a small water agitator. Black Crappie – Fair: the bigger fish are 10-12 inches. Use minnows and waxworms on a jig. Bluegill – Fair: Most fish are 6-8 inches.  Walleye – Fair: Anglers are picking up a few walleye in the area off of Ice House Point and near Gunshot Hill. Yellow Perch – Fair.

Black Hawk Pits
Ice thickness is around 6 inches near the boat ramp.

Brushy Creek Lake
Ice conditions are variable, use caution and check ice thickness often. Some areas have lost an inch or two of ice since the last recent rains. Areas right around standing trees are thinner and have opened up in some areas, use caution. The thickest ice is around 9-11 inches near the north boat ramp.  Ice on the south end of the lake varies from 0-9 inches. There is open water near the beach and anywhere water is flowing in from shore. Black Crappie – Fair.  Bluegill – Good: Anglers are catching good numbers of bluegill on the north end of the lake; sorting is needed. Most fish are being picked up using spikes fished near the bottom. Walleye – Fair: Anglers are picking up a few walleye. Bite is hit-or-miss. Use minnows and a jigging spoon. Yellow Perch – Slow.

Storm Lake (incl Little Storm Lake)
Ice thickness is around 8-13 inches, but there are thinner areas. Conditions are variable and can change quickly from one area to another on this lake; check ice thickness often as you move.  There are areas of open water or thin ice near the big island and at a seam that starts at the Casino point area and extends northeast. Walleye – Fair: Most anglers have been on the east side of the lake. The bite is hit-or-miss using minnows and jigging spoons. Best bite is evenings. White Bass – Fair. Yellow Bass – Fair to Good: Most fish are around 7- to 8-inches. Yellow Perch – Fair: Use small jigs tipped with a minnow.

Crawford Creek Impoundment
Black Crappie – Fair: The bite is hit or miss.  Most fish are 8-10 incehs with some up to 12 inches.  Move around to find the fish.  Evenings or low light conditions may be best. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers have been picking up 6-8 inch bluegill in 10-20 feet of water using jigs and wax worms.   You may need to be mobile to stay on fish. Yellow Perch – Fair: Sorting is needed but some fish up to 12 inches are being picked up during low light conditions.

Moorland Pond
The DNR will stock rainbow trout into Moorland Pond January 20th at 11:30 AM.  Catch trout through the ice with a variety of methods: use a small hook or jig tipped with either a minnow, a piece of crawler, or small powerbaits fished under a bobber.

Most lakes in the area have anywhere from 6-13 inches of ice. Conditions remain variable.  The winter aeration system in Town Bay (westernmost bay) of Black Hawk Lake is in operation. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638.


Blue Pit
Rainbow trout were stocked on Jan 14th. Rainbow Trout – Excellent: Use a small jig tipped with bait. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Clear Lake
Ice thickness is 0 to 13 inches. Clear Lake has a protected slot on walleye. All walleye between 17 and 22 inches must be immediately released unharmed. The daily limit is 3 with no more than one walleye longer than 22 inches may be taken per day. Black Crappie – Fair: Fish a small minnow near vegetation in 6 to 8 feet of water. Bluegill – Fair: Try a small jig tipped with waxworms on the outside edge of the reeds.  Walleye – Fair: Use a jigging spoon tipped with live bait in 6 to 8 feet of water near vegetation. Best bite is low light periods and after sunset. Yellow Bass – Slow: Stay mobile to find the fish. Yellow Perch – Good: Try live bait and jigs near vegetation. Use a bigger bait to avoid the small fish.

Crystal Lake
Ice thickness is 0 to 12 inches. Black Crappie – Fair: Fish a small jig tipped with bait near the dredge cut. Bluegill – Fair:

Little Wall Lake
Ice thickness is 8 inches. Black Crappie – Slow.

Rice Lake
Ice thickness is 0 to 12 inches. Bluegill – Fair. Yellow Perch – Good: Try a small jig tipped with bait near vegetation.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Ice thickness is 0 to 12 inches. Bluegill – Fair: Use a small jig tipped with waxworms near vegetation. Yellow Perch – Fair.

Winter aeration systems are running at Clear Lake, Crystal Lake, Rice Lake and Silver Lake. For information on the lakes and rivers in north central Iowa, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.


East Okoboji Lake
The lake has around 15+ inches in most areas. Deeper snow coverage had made getting around more difficult. Black Crappie – Good: Try small jigs tipped with a minnow or tube jig and bobber. Bluegill – Good: Try tube jigs plastics or other small jigs. Northern Pike – Good: Tip ups have been working well. Yellow Perch – Fair: Minnows have been working well some sorting may be needed

Ingham Lake
Use caution; there is an open hole in the lake with the aerator in use. Ice thickness is 13+ inches. Walleye – Fair:

Lost Island Lake
Ice thickness is around 18+ inches in most places. Black Crappie – Good. Walleye – Good.

Minnewashta Lake
Ice thickness is 16.5+ inches. The bluegill and crappie fishing has been good lately. Black Crappie – Good.  Bluegill – Good.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Ice thickness is around 15+ inches. Use caution; the lake aerator is in use. This creates an open hole on the east side of the lake.  Walleye – Good: Best bite is at dusk.

Spirit Lake
The lake is entirely iced over with 17+ inches in most places. The best ice is on the south end and Anglers Bay. Most accesses are clear of heaves and snow. Black Crappie – Good:  Walleye – Good: Best bite is around dusk. Yellow Perch – Good: Use small jigs tipped with a minnow. Sorting may be needed.

West Okoboji Lake
Most bays have safe ice for small machines. Ice thickness is about 16+ inches at Emerson Bay and Haywards Bay, and 13 inches at Triboji. The bluegill bite in Little Emerson Bay and out from Triboji has been very good.  Black Crappie – Fair: Try small jigs tipped with a minnow. Bluegill – Good: Use tube jigs, plastics, or other small jigs. Yellow Perch – Fair: Try small jigs tipped with a minnow. Sorting may be needed.

Most lakes have 15+ inches of ice. Larger lakes may have areas with thinner ice; use caution when going out, especially if using a heavier vehicle. Snow cover on the ice has made getting around more difficult to the point where some less capable vehicles have gotten stuck. For current conditions, call the Spirit Lake District Office at 712-336-1840.


NORTHEAST


Casey Lake (aka Hickory Hills Lake)
Anglers are catching bluegill and crappie on South Prairie Lake. Black Crappie – Good: Try a waxworm tipped on an ice fishing jig or use a dead stick tipped with a live crappie minnow; try to find structure for best success. Bluegill – Good: Use a waxworm tipped on an ice fishing jig; try to find structure for best success.

Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City)
There has been little angling activity with the bump in river levels on the Cedar River. Walleye – Good: Most anglers are having good success fishing plastics tipped with a minnow.

George Wyth Lake
Anglers are catching panfish; some sorting may be needed. Black Crappie – Fair: Try a waxworm tipped on an ice fishing jig or use a dead stick tipped with a live crappie minnow; try to find structure for best success Bluegill – Fair: Use a waxworm tipped on an ice fishing jig; try to find structure for best success.

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)
There have been no reports on the Maquoketa River at this time and is currently falling and dirty. Walleye – No Report: Most anglers are having good success fishing plastics tipped with a minnow.

North Prairie Lake
Anglers are catching trout, bluegill and crappie. Black Crappie – Fair: Try a waxworm tipped on an ice fishing jig or use a dead stick tipped with a live crappie minnow. Bluegill – Fair: Use a waxworm tipped on an ice fishing jig. Rainbow Trout – Fair: Try jigging flashy jigs. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
There has been little angling activity with the bump in river levels on the Shell Rock River. Walleye – Good: Most anglers are having good success fishing plastics tipped with a minnow.

South Prairie Lake
No reports; decent size bluegill are available. Bluegill – No Report: Use a waxworm tipped on an ice fishing jig; try to find structure for best success.

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
There has been little angling activity with the bump in river levels on the Wapsipinicon River. Walleye – Fair: Most anglers are having good success fishing plastics tipped with a minnow.

With the recent rainfall events interior rivers are up and dirty. Lakes in the Cedar Falls/Waterloo area have been slow to fair for panfish. Ice averages are around six inches; use extreme caution wherever one goes. Trout streams are receding from recent rainfall but should be good by the upcoming weekend. For further information contact your local bait shop for the most recent up-to-date information. For more information, contact the Manchester Hatchery at 563-927-3276.


MISSISSIPPI RIVER


Mississippi River Pool 12
The water level is rising at 5.7 feet at Lock and Dam 11 and 8.2 feet at the RR bridge. Water temperature is around 33 degrees; the water is clear. Ice fishing is occurring in most marina areas, but ice conditions are variable and ice around the edges is reported iffy at some locations. Bluegill – Fair: Nearly all the panfish are in backwater areas for the winter which are lakes with no flowing water and hopefully deep enough to not freeze to the bottom. The edges of the ice in backwaters are poor is some locations but generally once on the ice most places are good to fish.  Use good judgement when fishing unknown ice. Yellow Perch – Good: Small yellow perch are being reported with an occasional keeper. Some anglers are using minnows on tip down rigs for best results.

Mississippi River Pool 13
The water level is 6.0 feet and rising at Lock and Dam 12 at Bellevue. Water clarity is excellent. Water temperature is around 33 degrees. The DNR ramp had ice chunks. The City of Bellevue Ramp is open, but ice flows may occur. Bluegill – No Report: Nearly all the panfish are in backwater areas for the winter which are lakes with no flowing water and hopefully deep enough to not freeze to the bottom. Recent rains have caused some edges to thaw and some ice may not be safe. Rainbow Trout – Excellent: The Bellevue kids trout pond is open and vegetation free. It is a nice safe place to fish with kids on warmer winter days. If you plan on keeping fish please only keep two fish per child. Sauger – Good: The tailwater has opened up at Bellevue but can be subject to ice flows. Small sauger are being reported on jig and minnow rigs. Yellow Perch – Good: Small yellow perch are being reported with an occasional keeper. Some anglers are using minnows on tip down rigs for best results.

Mississippi River Pool 14
The water level at Fulton is 5.9 feet and rising,10.3 feet at Camanche and 5.1 feet at LeClaire. Water clarity is excellent and water temperature is near 33 degrees. Ice flows were reported at some ramps and not sure if they are always usable. Bluegill – No Report: Conditions are unknown at the backwater areas but edges are known to be marginal. Rising river will not help matters. Sauger – No Report:

Mississippi River Pool 15
The water level at Rock Island is 6.2 feet. Water clarity is excellent and water temperature is 33 degrees. Bluegill – No Report: Not a lot of ice angling goes on in Pool 15 as true backwater areas are not present in this pool. Some fishing can occur in the marinas and above the dam at LeClaire but we have received no reports. The ice is undoubtedly in poor conditions around the edges with the rising water and recent rains.

People are all over the board on backwater ice fishing with some good ice and some bad ice reported. Lots of district ramps have opened up but ice flows are present near ramps at times. The Iowa DNR ramp has large ice chunks on it and is presently unusable. If you have angling questions, please call the Bellevue Fisheries Management Station at 563-880-8781.


Mississippi River Pool 16
Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities is 6.17 feet and rising. Tailwater stage is forecasted to rise over the weekend. There has been some tailwater fishing for walleye and saugers but it has been hit or miss. Unsafe ice conditions with the recent rain and warm temperatures. Sauger – Slow: Fishing for has been slow. Most reports are saying that it has been smaller saugers being caught. Try fishing with jigs and minnows or jigs and twister tails.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine is 5.10 feet and rising. Tailwater fishing for walleyes and saugers has been slow. There is a dock in the water at the Muscatine ramp. Unsafe ice conditions with the recent rain and warm temperatures. Sauger – Slow: Look for saugers below the dam. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling stickbaits.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston is 5.02 feet and rising. The Toolsboro ramp is free of ice. Tailwater fishing has been hit or miss. Unsafe ice conditions with the recent rain and warm temperatures. Sauger – Slow: Tailwater fishing for saugers has been hit or miss. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling stickbaits.

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington is 2.44 feet and rising. We have not received any tailwater fishing reports or ramp condition reports for this pool this week. Unsafe ice conditions with the recent rain and warm temperatures.

Mississippi River Pools 16-19: Tailwater stages have been rising some the past few days and are forecasted to rise over the weekend. Some boat ramps have opened back up with the warmer temperatures. Tailwater fishing for walleye and sauger has been hit or miss with mostly smaller fish being caught. Unsafe ice conditions with the recent rain and warm temperatures. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.


SOUTHEAST

Big Hollow Lake
Ice is unsafe
 and ice fishing is not recommended. Areas of open water are growing. The remaining ice looks more like slush. Black Crappie – No Report:

Lake Belva Deer
Ice is unsafe and ice fishing is not recommended. Most of the edges are gone now. They had ice rescue training out in the campground bay last Saturday by getting out onto the ice from the docks. Not recommended that anglers try that though. Bluegill – No Report: Shoreline on the north side is opening up. Haven’t seen anybody on the ice this week.

Lake Darling
Ice is unsafe and ice fishing is not recommended. About four acres of open water above the in-lake silt dam.  Most south facing rock shorelines have open water. The ice looks more like slush than ice. Bluegill – No Report: Somebody was seen walking on the ice Saturday but left in less than 20 minutes and didnt drill any holes.

Lost Grove Lake
The rain forecasted for Wednesday (1/18) won’t do the ice any good. Use caution walking across the ice near shore. Bluegill – Slow: Now the bite seems to be a little better above the causeway.

Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)
The Skunk River was nearly ice free this morning (1/18).

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


Central Park Lake
The first 6-8 feet of ice are soft and slushy; use caution getting on. The rest of the lake has 6+ inches of ice. Bluegill – Fair: Most fish have been smaller. Best bite is mornings and evenings.

Coralville Reservoir
The ice is variable; no reports are available.

Diamond Lake
Ice thickness has weakened a bit, so check ice as you go. Black Crappie – Fair: Most fish are 8- to 9-inches with a few larger ones mixed in. Bluegill – Fair.

Diamond Lake Pond
The pond on the east side of Diamond Lake has had a fair amount of pressure. Bluegill – Fair:

Green Castle Lake
Black Crappie – Fair:  Bluegill – Fair:

Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
Most of the lake has about 6-7 inches of ice but there is some water along the shorelines. Remember, no ice is safe ice. No fishing reports are available. Black Crappie – Fair:  Bluegill – Fair:

Lake Macbride
Macbride has variable ice, soft shorelines and seams, so use caution. Most commonly used areas have 4-7 inches of ice but there has not been much fishing activity the past week. Black Crappie – Slow: Try fishing over deeper brush or look for fish suspended 15-25 feet down over open water. Bluegill – Fair: Try fishing rock piles in 10-20 feet of water; size is marginal.

Pleasant Creek Lake
There had been 6-8 inches in most areas but the rains may have softened shorelines and other areas so check ice often. The bite has been fairly slow but picks up towards sunset. Black Crappie – Slow.  Bluegill – Fair.

Union Grove Lake
Most of the lake has 6-8 inches of ice. There is about 6 inches of water around the shoreline. The aeration unit is on so there is open water at the south end of the lake out from the dam. Black Crappie – Slow:  Bluegill – Fair:  Largemouth Bass – Fair:

Warmer than average temperatures have made some shorelines and other areas a little weak. Check ice thickness often and take safety gear every time. For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.


Corydon Reservoir
Ice thickness is not enough to support anglers.

Hawthorn Lake
Ice thickness is not enough to support anglers.

Lake Miami
Ice thickness is not enough to support anglers.

Lake Sugema
Ice thickness is variable and inconsistent across the lake and is not enough to support anglers.

Lake Wapello
Ice thickness is not enough to support anglers.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 904.13 msl; recreation pool is 904 msl. Ice thickness varies across the lake. There is open water in the main lake and around Bridgeview. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels so make sure to properly drain, clean and dry equipment before transporting to another waterbody. There has been very little fishing pressure due to ice variability and the current ice thickness is not enough to support anglers. Walleye – No Report: There is now a 15-inch minimum length limit on walleye at Lake Rathbun. This was effective January 1st. All walleyes measuring less than 15 inches must be immediately released unharmed.

Red Haw Lake
Ice thickness is not enough to support anglers. Visitors can access the beach and north boat ramp but are asked to avoid the campground.

Most area lakes now have open water; ice conditions have weakened in the last week and vary lake to lake. The ice along the shoreline has started melting making getting on the ice difficult. Ice thickness is not enough to support anglers. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.


SOUTHWEST

Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
Rainbow Trout – Fair: Use jigging spoons tipped with waxworms or minnows. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Big Creek Lake
As of Jan. 18, Big Creek Lake had ice thickness averaging 8-inches near shore. Black Crappie – Fair: Catch crappies jigging minnows or waxworms on glow jigs over brush piles on the upper half of the lake and along the roadbed out from the Ensign Shelter on the East shore. The better bite has been in the morning and early evening.

Lake Petocka
Rainbow Trout – Fair: Use jigging spoons tipped with waxworms or minnows. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Terra Lake
Rainbow Trout – Fair: Use jigging spoons tipped with waxworms or minnows. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Triumph Park West
Rainbow Trout – Fair: Use jigging spoons tipped with waxworms or minnows. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

As of Jan. 18, ponds and lakes in Central Iowa are maintaining 5-to 9-inches of ice. Use caution on city ponds that may have thin ice around stormwater pipe inlets. For information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers contact Ben Dodd at 641-891-3795 or Andy Otting at 515-204-5885.


Arrowhead Pond Arrowhead has 8 inches of ice. Black Crappie – No Report:  Bluegill – Good: Bluegill fishing has been good this week using wax worms. Fish average 8 inches.

Big Lake (Including Gilbert’s Pond)
A second trout stocking is scheduled for Jan. 20, pending good ice conditions. Rainbow Trout – No Report: Trout can be caught on similar size tackle used for bluegill and crappie. Nightcrawlers minnows and wax worms are good live bait options.

Greenfield Lake
Greenfield has a large year class of 9-inch black crappie that will provide good ice fishing this winter. Black Crappie – Fair. Bluegill – Good: Fishing has been good for 7-inch bluegills. Largemouth Bass – No Report:

Lake Anita
Lake Anita has a good year class of black crappie averaging 9 inches. Bluegills look good as well averaging 8 inches. Black Crappie – Fair: The crappie bite is light but anglers are finding fish suspended close to deep tree piles. Bluegill – Fair: Bluegills are being caught in the north arm of the lake. Anglers that are willing to fish for several hours will catch a nice mess of fish. Largemouth Bass – No Report:

Littlefield Lake
Littlefield has variable ice conditions ranging from 5 to 7 inches. Black Crappie – Slow:  Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are sorting for 8.5 inch bluegill. Yellow Perch – Slow: An occasional yellow perch can be caught when fishing around the cedar tree piles. The perch in Littlefield are 10 to 12 inches.

Meadow Lake
Expect to catch 10- to 12-inch black crappies and 8-inch bluegill this winter. Black Crappie – Fair: Try fishing late afternoon to catch 10-inch black crappie. Bluegill – Slow: Target the cedar tree piles in the lake to catch 8-inch bluegill.

Prairie Rose Lake
Fish surveys show a large number of 10- to 12-inch black crappie. Bluegills will be 8.5- to 9-inches. Prairie Rose will be a good ice fishing destination this winter. Black Crappie – Fair: Crappie have been tough to catch during mid-day. Best bite is early morning and late afternoon. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers will have to sort for 9.5-inch bluegill this winter. Largemouth Bass – Fair: If you are fishing a brush pile, you will catch an occasional largemouth bass.

Viking Lake
Viking Lake has a good number of 8- to 10-inch black crappie with a smaller percentage of larger fish. Bluegill size will range from 7- to 8-inches. Black Crappie – No Report:  Bluegill – Slow: Sorting is necessary for 7.5-to-8-inch bluegill. Largemouth Bass – No Report

Lakes in the district have 8 to 10 inches of ice at the time of this report. For information on lakes in the Southwest District call the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587.


Green Valley Lake
Area of open water now expanded from campground to near the beach area. Open water along the beach boat ramp.

Little River Watershed Lake
Large area of open water on the south end of the lake. Open water along the boat ramps and shoreline.

Three Mile Lake
Areas of open water especially on the south end of the lake.

Twelve Mile Creek Lake
Open water along the east boat ramp. Black Crappie – Slow: Try using jigs tipped with a minnow or waxworm fished in the upper end of the reservoir for crappie of all sizes. Bluegill – Slow: Try using jigs tipped with a waxworm fished in the upper end of the reservoir.

Most Mount Ayr district lakes have variable ice conditions ranging from 0-6 inches. However, there are areas of open water and thin ice along the lake shorelines, flooded timber, boat ramps, fishing jetties, etc. Use extreme caution if venturing out ice fishing and drill many test holes. For more information, call the Mount Ayr Fisheries office at 641-464-3108.

Mark Pitz

News Director/Weekdays 10am to 2pm on 95.9 KCHA
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