July 17, 2014 - 4:48 pm - Posted in Sports

DNR logoSpirit Lake, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For current information, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

NORTHWEST

West Okoboji Lake

Remember that all walleyes between 17 and 22 inches must be released alive immediately upon catching.  Bluegill – Good: Anglers working deep weed beds have been catching some nice bluegills using small jigs tipped with live bait.  Yellow Perch – Good: Anglers working rock structures have been catching a number of nice yellow perch using small jigs tipped with live bait.

East Okoboji Lake

Remember that all walleyes between 17 and 22 inches must be released alive immediately upon catching.  Walleye – Fair: The catch has been dominated by small walleyes with the occasional angler acceptable size. Boats working the areas around Jingle’s Point and Charlestrom beach have been seeing the most action.  Yellow Bass – Good: Small yellow bass continue to be caught near the spillway with a few nice ones mixed into the fray. Jig heads tipped with shiners should work well.

Big Spirit Lake

Remember that all walleyes between 17 and 22 inches must be released alive immediately upon catching. Northern Pike – Fair: A few pike have been caught by running spinner baits over or near the edge of the major weed lines.  Smallmouth Bass – Good: Jerk baits and jigs tipped with live bait have been producing a few bass near rocky points and other deep water structure.  Largemouth Bass – Good: Fishermen using spinner baits and soft plastics have reported catching bass near docks and other vertical structures.  Walleye – Fair: The catch is dominated by 20-inch walleyes currently with the best action on live baits near weed beds and deep rocky structures.   Black Bullhead – Fair:

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

Channel Catfish – Excellent: Angler reports indicate fish being caught on chicken livers, night crawlers, chubs and stink bait.  White Bass – Good: Anglers are catching fish using shiny spoons like Kastmasters.  Walleye – Fair: A few limits of fish have been reported trolling scatter raps.

Little Sioux River (state line to Linn Grove)

Channel Catfish – Good: Chicken liver or cut bait worked near snags and deep pools should produce some nice action right now.

Little Sioux River (Linn Grove to Correctionville)

Water levels are still above normal but falling.  Channel Catfish – Fair: Fish have been caught around brush piles and creek mouths with stink bait.  New brush piles have formed this year so care should be taken if boating.

July 10, 2014 - 4:45 pm - Posted in Sports

Iowa DNRThe Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

Northwest Iowa

Lake Smith

Bluegills and crappies are being caught along the rocky shorelines.  Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish are near the rocks, spawning. Cast a piece of cutbait with a light splitshot about of foot above the hook near the rocks. If you don’t get bit in 15 minutes, recast. Cats will bite if it is close to their nests.

Lake Catherine

Catfish and bass are biting.  A few large bluegills are being caught.  Channel Catfish – Fair: There are some nice 22-27-inch cats in the lake. Try after dark with some cutbait, worms, or stinkbait.

Clear Lake

Channel Catfish – Fair: Try on the rock reefs, shoreline rocks or just try on the windward shorelines with some cutbait, worms, or stinkbait. North shore docks and Ventura grade are also worth a try. White Bass – Slow: An occasional white bass near the reeds on the little lake.  Largemouth Bass – Fair: An occasional largemouth near the edges of the reeds.  Walleye – Good: Shoreline docks have been ok at dark or on windy days. Boats have been picking some up yet trolling, or fishing near the rock reefs near state reef, Billy’s or Gilmore’s. Some fish by the edges of the reeds where the wind blows into them.  Muskellunge – Fair:   Yellow Bass – Fair: Walleye anglers are picking 5-10 up. The state reef and dodge’s point are worth a shot.

Crystal Lake

Bluegill – Fair: The bluegill bite is slowing down some but fish can still be caught. Fish with a popper or a bobber set shallow for the bluegills closer to shore. Or try with a slip bobber for the bluegills near the deeper dredged water (11-13 feet). Casting a lighter jig and letting it slowly sink will also catch some fish. Tip with a worm or leech.  Largemouth Bass – No Report: Try on the dredge cut weed line or up close to the rock shorelines.  Walleye – Fair: An occasional walleye near the edge of the dredge cut along the edge of the curlyleaf.

July 2, 2014 - 3:26 pm - Posted in Sports

Iowa DNRThe Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

Northwest Iowa

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

The dredge machine is in operation on Storm Lake.  Boaters should use caution and stay clear of the dredge machine, booster pump barge, and pipeline.  Channel Catfish – Excellent: Good numbers of catfish are being picked up on Sonny’s dip bait blood/cheese flavor.  White Bass – Good: Anglers are picking up white bass on chrome/pink crankbaits, silver Mepps, Kastmasters, or other shiny lures.  Walleye – Good: Anglers are still catching walleye.  Try using a #5 Shad Rap or a slow death rig with leeches or crawlers.  Focus efforts around the dredge cuts. The daily bag limit for walleye is three.  All walleye between 17 and 22 inches must be released, and only one over 22 inches may be kept.

Big Spirit Lake

Northern Pike – Good: Fishing for pike has been good lately. Trolling crankbaits and spinners near weed lines should produce good results for anglers. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Bass have been hitting top water baits and jigs tipped with live bait near rocky points.  Walleye – Fair: Anglers are continuing to catch many slot walleye during the day and in the evening. A few fish are being harvested by drifting and/or trolling live bait near weed lines and across rocky points.  Black Bullhead – Fair:

East Okoboji Lake

Bluegill – Good: Bluegill fishing has been good fishing near docks with small jigs and live bait.  Walleye – Fair: Many small walleyes are being caught fishing in the evenings with live bait along with a few angler acceptable sizes. Yellow Bass – Good: Jigging live bait over deeper rocky areas is producing a few nice sized yellow bass. Many small yellow bass are being caught on the north end of the lake near the spillway from Big Spirit.

West Okoboji Lake

Bluegill – Fair: A few bluegills are being caught near docks and over deeper rock piles. Fishing live bait with a small jig is producing the best results. Yellow Perch – Fair: A few yellow perch are being reported caught by anglers jigging live bait over deeper rock piles and rocky points.

June 26, 2014 - 3:22 pm - Posted in Sports

Iowa DNRThe Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

The dredge machine is in operation on Storm Lake.  Boaters should use caution and stay clear of the dredge machine, booster pump barge, and pipeline. Water levels were six inches below crest as of Tuesday.  Channel Catfish – Fair: Channel catfish are still being caught with traditional catfish baits.  Walleye – Good: Walleye fishing has slowed down some compared to the last several weeks, but anglers are still picking up fish on leeches under a bobber.  A lot of the walleye are slot fish, but there are some legal fish mixed in.  Some anglers are still picking up walleye with a jig and minnow while drifting in 8-10 feet of water. The daily bag limit for walleye is three.  All walleye between 17 and 22 inches must be released, and only one over 22 inches may be kept.

Big Spirit Lake

Smallmouth Bass – Good: Fishing deep rock piles will produce excellent action. Largemouth Bass – Good: Good largemouth bass bite reported. Fish deeper docks and weed beds will produce the best action.  Walleye – Fair: Some action reported in the early morning, fish weed beds and deeper water for the best action.

East Okoboji Lake

The Spirit Lake spillway began flowing on June 20. Anglers fishing the current area entering East Okoboji Lake will find consistent angling with the action picking up as the flow increases.   Channel Catfish – Good: Fish traditional baits after dark for plenty of pole bending activity.

West Okoboji Lake

Recent storms in the Iowa Great Lakes has limited angling on West Okoboji Lake.  Weed growth is limited; anglers are encouraged to focus on the weed lines as they continue to develop.

June 19, 2014 - 3:09 pm - Posted in Sports

Iowa DNRThe Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

The dredge machine is in operation on Storm Lake. Boaters should use caution and stay clear of the dredge machine, booster pump barge and pipeline. The daily bag limit for walleye is three. All walleye between 17 and 22 inches must be released, and only one over 22 inches may be kept. Water levels were 6 inches below crest as of Tuesday. Channel Catfish – Fair: Channel catfish are still being caught with traditional catfish baits. Walleye – Good: Walleye fishing continues to be good. Most of the keeper size fish are coming on leeches or night crawlers on jig or slip bobber. Twisters baited with a crawler tend to be picking up smaller fish. Most anglers have been drifting with a lot of focus around the dredge cuts.

Big Spirit Lake

Smallmouth Bass – Good: Fishing the deep rock piles will produce excellent action of this popular sport fish. Largemouth Bass – Good: Good largemouth bass bite reported. Fishing the deeper docks and weedbeds will produce the best action. Walleye – Fair: Fish weed beds and deeper water for the best action.

East Okoboji Lake

Channel Catfish – Good: Fish traditional baits after dark for plenty of pole bending activity.

West Okoboji Lake

Recent storms in the Iowa Great Lakes has limited angling on West Okoboji Lake. Weed growth is limited; anglers are encouraged to focus on the weed lines as they continue to develop.

June 12, 2014 - 4:21 pm - Posted in Sports

Iowa DNRThe Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

NORTHWEST IOWA

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

The dredge machine is in operation on Storm Lake. Boaters should use caution and stay clear of the dredge machine, booster pump barge, and pipeline.  Channel Catfish – Fair: Channel catfish are still being caught with traditional catfish baits. Walleye – Good: Walleye fishing continues to be good. Most of the keeper size fish are coming on leeches or night crawlers on jig or slip bobber. Twisters baited with a crawler tend to be picking up smaller fish.  Most anglers have been drifting with a lot of focus around the dredge cuts. The daily bag limit for walleye is three. All walleye between 17 and 22 inches must be released, and only one over 22 inches may be kept.

Clear Lake

Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish are spawning. Try the rock reefs, shoreline rocks or just try on the windward shorelines with some cutbait, worms or stink bait. The island has been good for quick bites. White Bass – Slow: An occasional white bass catch near the island, Dodge’s Point or near the Ventura grade. Largemouth Bass – Slow: An occasional largemouth near the edges of the reeds. Walleye – Good: Shoreline docks have been ok, yet at dark or on windy days. Boats have been picking some up yet trolling, or fishing near the rocks. Yellow Bass – Slow: The spawning bite looks like probably done. Fishing might be tough for a few weeks.

June 10, 2014 - 1:18 pm - Posted in Sports

Iowa DNRIowa’s unseasonably cold and snowy winter and wet spring is not likely to boost its pheasant population.

Pheasants typically show population increases following mild winters with spring that are warmer and dryer than normal. Based on that weather model, the western third of Iowa has the best chance to see an uptick in pheasants due to below average snowfall and less than eight inches of spring rain.

The weather model predicts the rest of the state to see either no population increase or fewer birds than last year. The nesting forecast will be updated by the August roadside survey, which is the best gauge of what pheasant hunters can expect to find in the fall.

Todd Bogenschutz, upland wildlife biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, said while the weather is not what upland bird hunters had hoped for, there is some progress on pheasant habitat. Landowners began enrolling in continuous CRP on Monday.

“This is great news for Iowa’s new pheasant recovery continuous CRP practice designed specifically to help recover pheasant numbers,” Bogenschutz said. Iowa has 45,000 acres available on a first come, first served basis.

“There will not be a general CRP signup this year so this is an option that landowners with expiring general CRP should consider,” he said.

Information on Iowa’s pheasant recovery continuous CRP is available online at www.iowadnr.gov/habitat.

June 5, 2014 - 3:51 pm - Posted in Sports

Iowa DNRThe Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

NORTHWEST IOWA

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

The dredge machine is in operation on Storm Lake.  Boaters should use caution and stay clear of the dredge machine, booster pump barge, and pipeline.  Channel Catfish – Fair: Channel catfish are close to shore and anglers should do well with traditional catfish baits.  Most fish are around two pounds.  White Bass – Good: White bass are tight to shore.  Anglers should try casting hair jigs baited with a minnow or white twisters close to shore. There are a lot of white bass hanging around the big island and the east shore from the boat ramp north to the end of King’s Pointe jetty.  Walleye – Excellent: Anglers did very well for walleye last weekend and fish are continuing to be caught this week. Trolling shad colored crankbaits has produced good numbers of fish. Anglers that have been trolling 3+ MPH have been doing the best.  Anglers were also catching good numbers of walleye casting jigs baited with a piece of night crawler just south of the college island. Many fish in the slot are being caught along with legal sized fish. The daily bag limit for walleye is three. All walleye between 17-22 inches must be released, and only one over 22 inches may be kept.

Big Spirit Lake

Northern Pike – Good: Trolling crankbaits has produced the best action with good numbers caught last week. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Fish the deeper rock piles as the water warms on clear sunny days.  Look for prespawn fish and fish slowly; a jig tipped with a minnow will produce the best action. Largemouth Bass – Good: Good largemouth bass angling continues to be reported. Walleye – Fair: Activity continues to improve as the day bite has started.  Most fish are being caught in depths of 15 feet and deeper.  Best action continues to be after dark.  Dock or wader angling after 9 p.m. has produced the best action.  Slot fish continue to be caught; however, numbers of harvest able size fish is being creeled by the Spirit Lake walleye angler.

East Okoboji Lake

Channel Catfish – No Report: Fish after dark with bait on the bottom will produce excellent angling for this species.

West Okoboji Lake

Bluegill – Good: Action at the canal area continues to be good, look for the fish to shift to the main lake as the water warms, fish wooden docks associated with deeper water for the best action. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Good action reported for this pole bending species, look for bedding fish.  Largemouth Bass – Good: Good largemouth bass action continues with the canals producing fish. Look for deeper wooden docks in the main lake will also hold fish.  Walleye – Good: Best action occurs after dark.  Boat and wader fisherman have been successful with good numbers of 14-16-inch size fish being caught. No day bite being reported during the day.

May 29, 2014 - 3:51 pm - Posted in Sports

Iowa DNRThe Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

NORTHWEST IOWA

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

The dredge machine is in operation on Storm Lake.  Boaters should use caution and stay clear of the dredge machine, booster pump barge, and pipeline.  Channel Catfish – Fair: Channel catfish are close to shore and anglers should do well with traditional catfish baits.  Most fish are around two pounds.  White Bass – Good: White bass are tight to shore.  Anglers should try casting hair jigs baited with a minnow or white twisters close to shore.  There are a lot of white bass hanging out around the big island and the east shore from the boat ramp north to the end of King’s Pointe jetty.  Walleye – Excellent: Anglers did very well for walleye last weekend and fish are continuing to be caught this week.  Trolling shad colored crankbaits has produced good numbers of fish.  Anglers were also catching good numbers of walleye casting jigs baited with a piece of night crawler just south of the college island.  Many fish in the slot are being caught along with legal sized fish. The daily bag limit for walleye is three.  All walleye between 17 and 22 inches must be released, and only one over 22 inches may be kept.

Big Spirit Lake

Northern Pike – Good: Trolling crankbaits has produced  the best action with good numbers caught last week.  Smallmouth Bass – Good: Fish deeper rock piles as the water warms on clear sunny days.  Look for prespawn fish and fish slowly with a jig tipped with a minnow. Largemouth Bass – Good: Good largemouth bass angling continues to be reported. Walleye – Fair: Activity continues to improve as the day bite has started.  Most fish are being caught in depths of 15 feet and deeper.  Best action continues to be after dark.  Dock or wader angling after 9 p.m. has produced the best action. Slot fish continue to be caught; however, good  numbers of harvest able size fish is being creeled.

East Okoboji Lake

Channel Catfish – No Report: Fishing after dark with bait on the bottom will produce excellent angling for this species. Bluegill – No Report: Fish the north end and the wooden docks on the east side for the best action.  Cast a mini jig to locate panfish, persistence and patience will be rewarded with a mix bag of crappie, bluegill and yellow perch.

West Okoboji Lake

Bluegill – Good: Action at the canal area continues to be good, look for the fish to shift to the main lake as the water warms, fish wooden docks associated with deeper water for the best action.  Largemouth Bass – Good: Good largemouth bass action was reported in the canals over the weekend. Walleye – Good: Best action occurs after dark.  Boat and wader fisherman have been successful with good numbers of 14-16-inch size fish being caught.  No bite being reported during the day.

 

May 28, 2014 - 10:27 am - Posted in Sports

Iowa DNRA relatively new condition affecting emerging oak leaves, called oak tatters, is again appearing in Iowa.

The condition affects primarily white oaks, including white, bur and swamp white.  Red oaks are only occasionally affected.

Damage appears when leaves emerge in mid to late May. The leaves will appear lacy or tattered.  Heavily affected trees will produce new leaves that may not have tatters but may be smaller and lighter in color than normal leaves.

Producing replacement leaves reduces important energy reserves. Healthy trees can survive this stress but repeated damage or dames combined with other stress, like drought, other defoliation or site problems may make the tree more susceptible to decline or to other problems.

“Trees should recover unless they are tattered for three or more years in a row,” said Tivon Feeley, forest health program leader for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

The condition appears to be caused by damage to leaf tissue in the buds or as the buds begin to open for leave expansion. The source of the damage could be from low temperature injury before or during leaf expansion, insects feeding on the buds or developing leaves, or by herbicides affecting the physiology of the tree resulting in abnormal development of the leaves.

In addition to Iowa, oak tatters has been observed in Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Missouri.

In woodlands, little can be done to prevent additional damage after an oak tatters event, except to reduce other stresses such as grazing of livestock.

For yard or urban landscape trees, try to minimize other stresses like changes to the site, add mulch to the tree and water during extended dry periods.