April 17, 2014 - 3:31 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

Big Spirit Lake

Smallmouth Bass – No Report: Fish shallow water rock piles early on clear sunny days as these areas warm first, attracting and concentrating fish early. Fish slowly, a jig tipped with a minnow will produce the best action.

East Okoboji Lake

Channel Catfish – No Report: Fish after dark with bait on the bottom will produce excellent angling as channel catfish will typically go on the feedbag after ice out.  Bluegill – No Report: Fish the north end for bluegill and crappie action early.  Fish the wooden docks on the west side of the lake early, as the water warms fish docks located on the east side.  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

Crappie – No Report: Fish the canal areas for largemouth bass, crappie and bluegill, best action will occur during sunny warm days.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)

Walleye – No Report: Wader fisherman angling after dark traditionally produces good catches of walleye. Fish slow early, a jig tipped with a minnow slowly retrieved will produce nice catches. As the water warms cast twister tails and minnow intimating baits for consistent action.

All lakes in the Spirit Lake District is ice free.  Gill netting activities started April 14th on Big Spirit Lake.

April 8, 2014 - 3:05 pm - Posted in Sports

Iowa DNRThe annual spring fish netting is underway at Lake Rathbun, Spirit Lake and Guttenberg and will begin Tuesday night at Storm Lake, as the spawning season picks up steam.

Staff from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources collects walleye, northern pike and muskies soon after ice out to provide quality sport fishing in Iowa lakes and streams that otherwise could not support it.

“If we didn’t stock walleyes and northern pike, the only place you could catch them would be on the Mississippi River,” said Joe Larscheid, chief of fisheries for the Iowa DNR. “And our muskie population is totally reliant on stocking.”

The DNR’s goal is to catch enough walleyes to fill hatcheries with about 750 quarts at Rathbun and 1,000 quarts at Spirit Lake. With a good hatch, that should equate to about 200 million walleye fry.

The muskie goal is to produce 1.5 million eggs and to produce 2 million northern pike each at Guttenberg and Spirit Lake.

Northern pike collection is in full swing collecting adult fish from the shallow water sloughs at Spirit Lake and backwaters of the Mississippi River near Guttenberg. Walleye and muskie collection is expected to begin next week at the Iowa Great Lakes after the ice off the main lakes.

Hatcheries are running 24/7 during this time as fish are spawned and released. The fish are handled as little as possible and once spawned, are returned to the waters where they were caught, usually that same day. These large adult fish are highly valued because they can produce a large amount of eggs.

Walleyes, muskies and northern pike do not successfully reproduce in the wild even in the highest quality lakes.

April 3, 2014 - 2:47 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 Hatchery at (712) 336-1840.

NORTHWEST

Big Spirit Lake

The ice is honeycombed and ice fishing is limited to foot travel only.  Bluegill – Fair:   Crappie – Fair:   Walleye – No Report: Walleye season is closed.

East Okoboji Lake

The ice is pulling away from shore in some areas foot travel is not advised.  Walleye – No Report: Walleye season is closed

West Okoboji Lake

The ice is honeycombed and ice fishing is limited to foot travel only.  Bluegill – Fair: There is some activity in Millers and Emerson Bays.  Crappie – Fair: There is some activity in Millers and Emerson bays.  Yellow Perch – Fair: A few fish are still being caught in the deeper water.  Walleye – No Report: Walleye season is closed.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

Storm Lake is open.  A few walleye have been caught.

Iowa DNRThe State Forest Nursery has a great selection of quality trees and shrubs for sale to improve your property.  These conservation seedlings are fantastic for aiding in erosion control, improving wildlife habitat, establishing food plots for you or wildlife, and for creating personal timber/forest area.

Nursery manager Aron Flickinger said the nursery has been accepting orders since August 1, 2013.

“We sell two different sizes for each of our 50 types of trees, and much of our smaller, lower priced seedlings are still available for most species,” Flickinger said.

A diversity of plant species in combination with a variety of vegetation types (trees, grass, wetlands) increases the amount of wildlife a property can support.

“If your goal is to improve wildlife habitat on your property, keep in mind which shrubs and trees can provide not only shelter, but also foodstuffs to get them through the winter,” Flickinger said.

For help planning the latest cost-sharing opportunities and/or to plan a successful personalized tree/shrub planting, contact your local forester or wildlife biologist.

For more information on ordering trees or seedlings available, contact the State Forest Nursery at 1-800-865-2477 or go to www.iowatreeplanting.com

April 1, 2014 - 12:17 pm - Posted in Sports

Iowa DNRThe electrifying gobble of wild turkeys will grip hunters, beginning with youth season hunters, who head to the woods as early as Saturday in pursuit of Iowa’s big game bird.

“It should be a great year. We had an excellent turkey reproduction during the 2012 drought year. There should be quite a few two year old gobblers out there, this spring,” forecasts Todd Gosselink, wild turkey research biologist with the Iowa DNR.

Iowa’s youth season runs April 5-13; allowing an under 16 hunter and a licensed, adult mentor, first crack at a spring tom.  The first of four regular seasons dawns April 14-17 across the state. Ensuing seasons are April 18-22, April 23-29, and April 30-May 18. Paid combination gun/bow tags are valid statewide in the season selected. Archery-only tags are valid statewide, throughout the four regular seasons.

A late bonus for youth hunters was approved by the Iowa Legislature several weeks ago, allowing that hunter to hold on to an unfilled youth season tag, to utilize it in one of the later seasons. The hunt on that youth tag is still to be treated as a mentored hunt; just as through the earlier youth season.

“Last year we went with the longer ‘two weekend’ youth hunt and set a record for the number of hunters,” notes Gosselink. “This year, we should see another good jump in young hunters who want to pursue turkeys.”

As Iowa slips slowly away from the long winter, hunters should look for active birds. Toms will gobble year round, but that intensity turns up as the calendar gets closer to breeding season.

“You will see a lot more strutting turkeys; more gobbling. They will be ready for spring,” emphasizes Gosselink.

For many of the 40,000 or so spring hunters, that will mean being in the woods well before dawn, to gauge turkey roosting spots and flydown locations to get their decoys out and to start the day.

“I suggest a variety of calls; the box call is easy; but slate calls and mouth calls provide a variety out there,” suggests Gosselink. “Use a mouth call and one of the others and you can create the sound of a couple hens calling over each other.”

Heading into the later seasons, strategy can change; maybe hunting through midday or into the evening, especially as hens become less responsive and move off to nest.

Still, there’s no guarantee that any of that will lure in love struck gobblers. Most turkey experts urge hunters to try a variety of calls, and at various times of the day.

Keep in mind safety through the turkey hunt, where hunters are in full camouflage.

Setting up with your back against a wide tree provides good concealment, but also a safe seat in the woods. Avoid any red, blue or white clothing showing; the shades found on a tom’s head and neck in the spring. And never shoot at a movement in the brush. Identify your target as a bearded turkey, and know what lies beyond the path of your planned shot.

And after taking your turkey, have a blaze orange vest or other item to display, on your way out of the woods.

March 27, 2014 - 2:17 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 Hatchery at (712) 336-1840.

 

NORTHWEST

 

Big Spirit Lake

Ice conditions are detraining, foot travel is recommended and walleye season is closed.    Bluegill – Fair:   Crappie – Fair:

 

East Okoboji Lake

Ice conditions are detraining, foot travel is recommended and walleye season is closed.

 

West Okoboji Lake

Ice conditions are detraining foot travel is recommended and walleye season is closed.  Northern Pike – Fair: Try putting a tip-up out while bluegill fishing for a bonus pike.  Bluegill – Fair: Most activity has taken place in Millers and Emerson bays.  Yellow Perch – Fair: Continue to look in 30 plus feet of water.

 

Five Island Lake

Ice conditions are detraining foot travel is recommended.  Try fishing the edges of the dredge cuts for crappie, perch, walleye, and catfish.

 

Iowa DNRHunters with a youth turkey season license who are not successful at harvesting a turkey in the April 5-13 youth turkey season can now get a do-over. They may use that unfilled youth license in any of the spring turkey hunting seasons. Youth hunters may also obtain an additional license for the fourth season, if they choose.

Last year, 4,100 hunters participated in the youth turkey season and reported harvesting 1,050 turkeys.

This new regulation became effective when Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed the bill into law March 14.

The youth season information in the hunting regulations was updated online at www.iowadnr.gov/Hunting/HuntingLicensesLaws.aspx to reflect the change in the law. This change occurred after the printed regulations booklets were issued last August.

March 25, 2014 - 12:51 pm - Posted in Sports

Iowa DNRJudging by the inquiries at late winter outdoor shows, anglers and boaters are getting ready for spring. One of the most-asked questions at the DNR booth was about a new regulation requiring drain plugs to be pulled as a boat leaves a ramp.

That regulation went into effect last July, so it did not make the 2013 regulations booklet. In the 2014 version, the regulation change is summarized on page 3, but is explained more fully on page 24; “Drain plugs and other water draining devices must be removed and/or remain open during transport. If you want to keep live bait when leaving a water access, you must replace water in bait containers with tap or bottle water.”

Anglers leaving with fish are recommended to put them on ice, whether in a cooler, a bucket or a live well (plug must still be removed and/or opened)

The new regulation is to avoid spreading invasive species from one body of water to another; through residual water inside your boat or vegetation which remains attached to your boat, motor or trailer. Enforcement was ‘soft’ last summer. It will step up this year.

Invasive species could range from vegetation such as Eurasian watermilfoil or brittle naiad to water dwelling animals such as zebra mussels—or even minnows purchased elsewhere. Once introduced into another water body, the unwanted species can spread throughout, often with few or no natural predators or vegetation to control the spread. That crowds out native species; disrupting the ecology of the lake or stream…as well as fishing and other recreation.

Is it worth the extra few seconds to pull a drain plug or clean that aquatic plant trailing from your boat motor? It can cost a couple million of your license dollars…and three or four years of your fishing recreation to draw down a lake, kill out the invasive species, renovate it, restock it and wait for fish to grow back to catchable size.

March 20, 2014 - 3:07 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 current information, contact the district fisheries office at the phone number listed at the end of each district report.

NORTHWEST IOWA

East Okoboji Lake

Ice conditions are deteriorating foot travel is recommended and walleye season is closed.

West Okoboji Lake

Ice conditions are deteriorating foot travel is recommended and walleye season is closed.  Northern Pike – Fair: Try a tip-up while bluegill fishing for a bonus pike.  Bluegill – Fair: Most activity has taken place in Millers and Emerson bays. Yellow Perch – No Report: Perch should still be roaming deeper water; be prepared to drill lots of holes to locate an active school.

Big Spirit Lake

Ice conditions are deteriorating foot travel is recommended and walleye season is closed.    Bluegill – Slow:   Crappie – Slow:

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

A large open hole is slowly expanding in the southeast portion of the lake.

Five Island Lake

Ice conditions are deteriorating foot travel is recommended. Try fishing the edges of the dredge cuts for crappie, perch, walleye, and catfish.

March 20, 2014 - 12:36 pm - Posted in Sports

PrintDordt seniors Austin Katje from Orange City and Kyle Lindbergh from Margate Florida were honored Wednesday as the NAIA announced the Division II Men’s Basketball All-Americans. Lindbergh, the GPAC Hauff Mid-America Player of the Year and GPAC Defensive Player of the Year this season, was named to the first-team and Katje, a first-team all-GPAC selection in 2013, was accorded honorable mention honors from the NAIA.

Austin Katje was an honorable mention selection after averaging 14.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per game with 48 assists. Katje, a Unity Christian alum  converted 80-183 three-point field goals for 43.7 percent success and leaves Dordt College as the career leader in three-point baskets made with 263

Lindbergh averaged 17.2 points and 11.0 rebounds per game and led the team in blocked shots and steals with 48 and 42 respectively. Lindbergh is the first Dordt College player to earn All-American first-team honors since 1988.

Lindbergh and Katje helped the Defenders to three-straight berths in the NAIA Division II National Championship Tournament, two GPAC regular season titles and a 105-30 record.