December 18, 2014 - 2:54 pm - Posted in Sports

Iowa DNRSpirit 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 more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

NORTHWEST

Big Spirit Lake

Ice conditions- Foot traffic advised due to variable ice conditions throughout the lake. Yellow Perch – Slow: Anglers bay- few perch have been caught during or following the warm weather.   Walleye – Slow: walleye bite is slow. Small walleyes are being caught with minnow heads near dark close to shore.

East Okoboji Lake

Bluegill – No Report:

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

Storm Lake was wide open as of Tuesday, but now has ice over most of the lake.  Travel on the ice is not advised.  Channel Catfish – No Report:

December 12, 2014 - 10:17 am - Posted in Sports

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report 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.

 

NORTHWEST

Big Spirit Lake

Ice conditions- Foot traffic advised due to variable ice conditions throughout the lake. Yellow Perch – Good: Anglers Bay- fisherman doing well with small jigs and wax worms; 7-11-inch fish are being creeled.  Walleye – Fair: walleyes are being caught during the early morning bite, and later at Stoney Point, Marble access, and Templar; 14-22-inch fish are being creeled.

 

East Okoboji Lake

Bluegill – Fair: Windy days present an increase in catch rates; 6-9-inch fish have been reported.

 

Center Lake

Aeration system is active on northwest corner, caution is advised as thin ice and open areas exist in this area. Channel Catfish – No Report:

 

Minnewashta Lake

Good panfish action (bluegill and crappie) was reported this week.  Sorting is in order as numbers of small fish are being caught; however, persistence and patience will be rewarded with good numbers of angler acceptable size fish in the bag.  Crappie – Good:

 

Silver Lake (Dickinson)

Some fishing activity on Silver Lake with ice measured at six inches at the west boat ramp.  The aeration system is active on the east side of the lake.  Caution is in order as thin ice and open water exists in this area. Due to the high winds the open water area to the south of the aeration system has expanded greatly in size and caution will be in order in this area when colder temps results in freeze up of this currently open water area. Crappie – No Report:

 

Ingham Lake

Aeration system located on the south west corner is active with open water and thin ice exists in this area.  Crappie – No Report:

 

Five Island Lake

Aeration system is active in Town Bay.  Caution is advised as open water and thin ice exists in this area.  Bluegill – No Report:

 

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

Anglers are getting out on the east and north parts of the lake.  There is a large pocket of open water from Boy Scout Island running down to the Casino Point area.  Yellow Perch – Slow: Some yellow perch have been caught while targeting walleye.  The perch are running 8-10 inches. Walleye – Fair: Some walleye are being picked up around the King’s Pointe and Chautauqua areas.  Try using buckshot spoons or JB Weasels.  Black Crappie – Slow:

 

Limited ice fishing activity in the Spirit Lake District.  Lakes are ice covered and ice conditions have improved, with 6 inches measured on area lakes.

December 4, 2014 - 2:13 pm - Posted in Sports

Des Moines, Iowa – Customers who have snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), off-road utility vehicles (ORVs), or off road motorcycles (ORMs) registered with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will need to renew their registrations by December 31.

Registrations can be renewed by any county recorder office or on the DNR’s website at www.iowadnr.gov. User permits can be purchased at any location where hunting licenses are sold including the Iowa DNR website.

After December 31 customers can still renew their registration but they will pay a $5 penalty.

 

Resident Snowmobiles

Iowa residents are required to have and display a current Iowa DNR registration and user permit on their snowmobile in order to lawfully operate on any public land or public ice in Iowa.

 

Nonresident Snowmobiles

Nonresident snowmobilers are required to have and display a current registration from their home state and display a current Iowa DNR user permit. If a nonresident resides in a state that does not require or offer snowmobile registration, the only requirement is to display an Iowa DNR user permit.

 

Resident Off-Highway Vehicles

Iowa residents must have and display a current Iowa DNR registration on their ATV, ORV, or ORM to operate on any designated public land or ice in Iowa.  Residents are not required to display an Iowa DNR user permit.

 

Nonresident Off-Highway Vehicles

Non-residents are required to have their machines registered in their home state and display an Iowa DNR user permit.

November 26, 2014 - 2:46 pm - Posted in Sports

Des Moines, 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.

 

NORTHWEST

Big Spirit Lake

Poor ice conditions. Open areas reported last week are expanding in size on the main basin due to the mild weekend weather and high winds experienced this week. Crappie – No Report:

 

Center Lake

Aeration system is active on the northwest corner, caution is advised as thin ice and open areas exist in this area. Channel Catfish – No Report:

 

East Okoboji Lake

No fishing activity. Due to high winds the very large open area on the south end of the lake is expanding this week. Channel Catfish – No Report:

 

Silver Lake (Dickinson)

Aeration system is active on the east side of the lake.  Caution is in order as thin ice and open water exists in this area. Crappie – No Report:

 

West Okoboji Lake

As of Nov. 24 West Okoboji remains ice free. Crappie – No Report:

 

Ingham Lake

Aeration system located on the south west corner is active with open water and thin ice exists in this area. Crappie – No Report:

 

Five Island Lake

Aeration system is active in Town Bay. Caution is advised as open water and thin ice exists in this area. Bluegill – No Report:

 

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

There are scattered pockets of open water on Storm Lake.  Travel on the ice is not advised.  Channel Catfish – No Report:

 

No fishing activity reported in the Spirit Lake District.  Most lakes are ice covered; however, ice conditions are poor with 4 inches or less measured on area lakes.

October 30, 2014 - 3:25 pm - Posted in Sports

Des Moines, 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 more information of fishing in northwest Iowa, call the Spirit Lake Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

 

NORTHWEST

 

Big Spirit Lake

Walleye – Fair: Cooler daytime and overnight temperatures have dropped the water temperature on Big Spirit. This shift has started to get fish more active and moving into the shallows.  Wader anglers fishing after dark will enjoy excellent catches; fish the traditional wader sites for the best action.

 

East Okoboji Lake

Channel Catfish – Good: Last week’s fish management survey of East Okoboji Lake reflected good numbers of large channel catfish sampled at the East Okoboji Lake beach area. Fish cut bait or any traditional catfish bait in this area will produce some excellent pole bending end of the year action.

 

Silver Lake (Dickinson)

Walleye – Good: With the drop in water temperatures Wader fishing action will increase with good numbers of fish harvested this fall. Excellent opportunities exist to catch that trophy walleye as reports of 10+ pound walleye is common from this lake in the fall. With the clear water, action will be best after dark.

 

West Okoboji Lake

Yellow Perch – Good: Reports of limits of small yellow approximately 7.0 – 8.0 inches being harvested from West Okoboji Lake.

October 21, 2014 - 1:15 pm - Posted in Sports

Des Moines, Iowa – Iowa’s Pheasant season begins Saturday and runs through Jan. 10. A harvest delayed by fall rain will give the birds plenty of hiding places on opening weekend.  As of Monday, 19 percent of corn and 61 DNR logopercent of the soybeans were harvested statewide.

The DNR will be busy releasing trout over the next several days. On Oct. 23, trout will be released at Petoka in Bondurant at noon and Big Lake in Council Bluffs at 3 p.m.; on Oct. 25 at Discovery Park in Muscatine at 10 a.m. and Wilson Lake in Fort Madison at noon. On Oct. 31, trout will be release in Ottumwa park pond at noon.

Anglers will need to have a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.  The daily limit is five trout per licensed angler with a possession limit of 10.

Iowa’s trout fishing season is open year round.

Duck hunters had the late season open in the South Zone last weekend and this Saturday will open in the North Zone and the Missouri River zone. Canada goose hunting season is currently open in all three zones.

Hunters who need to satisfy the hunter education requirement can search for and sign up for a course at www.iowadnr.gov. Hunter Education – Online Registration is the top link under Popular Pages. Fall classes are limited and fill quickly so register today.

As of Tuesday morning, hunters have reported harvesting 10,207 deer during the 2014 seasons.  The archery deer season is open through Dec. 5, when it closes during the two shotgun seasons.

Trapping and fur harvester hunting seasons begin Nov. 1.

A favorable forecast will likely mean state park campgrounds will be near capacity again this weekend. The combination of fall colors and nice weather will postpone many from putting their camper away for one more week.

As a reminder, restrooms have been closed at most state parks for the winter. Hydrants are still on and portable toilets are available in the campground.

The high school team from Eddyville/Blakesburg was the winner of Indian Hills’ Culinary Arts competition using invasive silver carp as the key ingredient.

They bested teams from Burlington, Mediapolis, Fort Madison, Ottumwa, Cardinal and Mount Pleasant for a chance to earn a scholarship to the nationally recognized, award winning culinary arts program.

October 16, 2014 - 2:54 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

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

Channel Catfish – Fair: Catfish are being picked up using small to medium sized chubs.  White Bass – Fair: Some anglers have picked up white bass casting ripple shad.  Walleye – Fair: Anglers have picked up some slot fish and a few over the slot.  Try trolling #4 Shad Raps or casting blue and silver Kastmasters.  Recent sampling efforts have shown good numbers of harvestable size walleye from the Chautauqua jetty along the north shore/high banks and from the north end of Frank Starr Park on south to the inlet.

Clear Lake

Crappie – Slow: A few crappies mixed in with angler catches of yellow bass.  Yellow Perch – Good: Anglers have had action with a slip bobber and minnows around the Ventura jetties.  Walleye – Good: Boat anglers are trolling with crankbaits and picking up some walleyes. Anglers are picking up an occasional walleye on the Ventura jetties.  Muskellunge – Fair: A few Muskies are being caught by panfish anglers. Yellow Bass – Good: Tips of the jetties by Ventura are getting some action. Boat fishermen are drifting around the edges of the deeper water.

Little Sioux River (Linn Grove to Correctionville)

As of Oct. 16, discharge near Correctionville was 582 CFS, which is in the 76th percentile, and gage height 5.87 feet.  As of Oct. 16, discharge near the Linn Grove Dam was 248 CFS, gage height 15.74, and in the 62nd percentile.  Northern Pike – Fair: Some northerns are being picked up around the Linn Grove Dam. Walleye – Good: Reports are coming in of anglers catching good numbers of walleye around the Linn Grove Dam. Try small live chubs or soft plastics like ripple shads or paddle tail baits.  Anglers have been experiencing good walleye catches from Peterson all the way down to Washta. Target the deeper holes for best chances of success.

October 14, 2014 - 12:36 pm - Posted in Sports

Des Moines, Iowa — Hunters heading to the field for the opening weekend of pheasant season are encouraged to review safe hunting practices before they head out.

Megan Wisecup, hunter education administrator with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, said hunters should get reacquainted with the techniques used to hunt pheasants – be sure to walk in a straight line and know where members of the hunting party are at all times, especially in low visibility areas like terraces, tall switch grass and standing corn.

“Go through the zones of fire with each member of the hunting party, talk about avoiding target fixation and swinging on game,” Wisecup said. “Wear plenty of blaze orange especially on the upper one third of your body. We are encouraging hunters to wear more blaze orange than the minimum required.  The goal is to be seen by other hunters.

“The top pheasant hunting incidents all are related to not being seen. The shooter swings on a rooster, the victim is out of sight of the shooter or the rooster flew between the shooter and the victim.”

Wisecup said safety also extends to the canine companions.

“Avoid low shots to prevent injuring your hunting dog,” she said.

“The hunting plan and safety practices are all part of a responsible hunt. The goal at the end of the day is for everyone to return home safely.”

October 14, 2014 - 12:30 pm - Posted in Sports

Des Moines, Iowa – Iowa pheasant hunters should see more of what they came for, as they step into the field this fall. More pheasants.

A strong rebound in August roadside counts of Iowa’s most popular game bird has buoyed expectations, heading toward the October 25 opener.

“It’s not the ‘good old days,’ but hunters will see noticeable improvement,” says DNR pheasant biologist Todd Bogenschutz. “We have the best pheasant numbers since 2008. People are telling me that more birds are flushing; that they are hearing more crowing and cackling out there.”

Counts this summer averaged 17.4 pheasants per 30 mile survey route, up 151 percent from last year’s 6.9…an all-time low. Of the nine regions monitored, eight had increases ranging from 102-290 percent. Only northeast Iowa showed no change.

Bogenschutz says drought conditions across the past two summers probably kept pheasants in the fields on August mornings, rather than pushing up to road edges, to escape heavy dew. That may have kept many from being tallied on the 200 gravel road routes surveyed. Hunters harvested 10,000 more pheasants in 2013, despite the record low counts.

So, where do you find them, on a fall morning?

“The best habitat will hold birds; good winter cover, good nesting cover, too. Hunters should be happy hunting those areas, over just decent nesting cover,” predicts Bogenschutz.  “Hunt around the best habitat, and you will be pleasantly surprised. Talk to the farmers where you will be hunting. Ask what they have seen while harvesting the crops.”

With a better bird outlook, the numbers of hunters should climb, too. Last year, only 41,000 pheasant hunters were in the fields.

“If word gets out of the early season success expected, we could see 60,000 hunters this fall,” predicts Bogenschutz. “We could have a harvest of 200,000 to 300,000 birds.”

Early in the season, standing crops are going to be a factor.

“Harvest is running a little behind. The season is starting a couple days earlier, too,” reminds Bogenschutz. “That could be a challenge for hunters, until the corn is out. Our counts were up; hens with broods were way up. There will be a lot of young roosters, who aren’t wise to the ways of the wild, yet.”

Hunting hours for Iowa’s pheasant seasons are 8 a.m. until 4:30 each day. The daily limit is three rooster pheasants. The season closes on January 10.

October 2, 2014 - 3:20 pm - Posted in Sports

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 more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

Northwest

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.

Big Spirit Lake

Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are starting to get into a bunch of small perch. Folks willing to sort through a considerable amount of small ones will find enough keepers to take home for a meal. Pilkis tipped with wigglers worked near the bulrush beds of Anglers Bay and off the north grade pier are producing the best action this week.  Walleye – Fair: Cooler daytime and overnight temperatures have dropped the water temperature on Big Spirit. This shift has started to get fish more active. Recent anglers pulling crankbaits near weed lines and across rocky points have been pulling a number of nice walleyes. The catch is still dominated by slot fish but a few keepers and lots of fun fishing is in store for folks hitting the water.

East Okoboji Lake

Yellow Perch – Fair: Pilkies tipped with red worms worked near rocky points have been producing a few nice perch. Be prepared to sort some small ones, but anglers can count on keeping some for the freezer.  Shore anglers – Anglers report yellow perch activity at the trestle between East and West Okoboji.  Action reported best in the morning and evening.  Yellow Bass – Good: Excellent action for this species exist this fall at the ample public access areas on East Okoboji Lake.  Use a worm with a spit shot fished on the bottom has produced the best action.