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Relaxed fishing regulations extended at Central Park Lake

CENTER JUNCTION - The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has extended the relaxed fishing regulations at Central Park Lake in Jones County until July 1.

Anglers with a valid fishing license are allowed to harvest fish of all species by hook and line from Central Park Lake only; the new 7-acre pond on the west end of the park is not included in the relaxed regulations. Any number of fishing poles or jug fishing will be allowed. Anglers must remain in sight of these lines at all times, and follow all other fishing regulations and area rules.

Liberalized fishing regulations for Central Park Lake will be in effect until July 1. Specific regulation changes include:

·         Removal of bag and length limit restrictions on largemouth bass.

·         Removal of bag limit on channel catfish.

·         Removal of bag limit on crappie and bluegill.

Nets, dynamite, trot lines, poison, electric shocking devices, or any stupefying substances will not be allowed. It is illegal to sell fish or stock captured fish into public waters. All navigation rules still apply. The normal park hours of 4:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. will remain in effect.

Central Park Lake is one of 35 priority lakes in the state selected for lake restoration work designed to improve water quality because of the potential economic return for the investment.  Poor water quality has impacted the fish population and affected all water based recreation at the lake.  Implementation water quality improvement practices in the watershed have been completed and more are underway. Public meetings during the past few years have explained various aspects of the project.

Bluegills, largemouth bass and channel catfish will be restocked following the renovation. Crappies and redear sunfish will be stocked when sufficient bass numbers are sampled.

It is very important that anglers never transport and release any fish species into any water system. All lake water from boats, live wells and bait buckets must be drained before you leave the boat ramp.

For more information, contact Iowa DNR Fisheries Biologist Paul Sleeper at 319-624-3615 or the Jones County Conservation Board at 563-487-3541.

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