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Fishing regulations to be relaxed at McKinley Lake

CRESTON- The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will relax fishing regulations at McKinley Lake in Union County, effective immediately, due to a water level drawdown needed for Creston’s Adams Street bridge replacement project. 

The city of Creston may need to lower the lake up to five feet for the bridge replacement project.  Since McKinley Lake’s maximum depth is approximately six feet, the fish may concentrate into a small area. Limited space and increased summer water temperatures could cause a fish kill. Relaxed fishing regulations will let anglers utilize the fish that may not survive the drawdown. 

The city of Creston will begin to lower the lake on August 1 in preparation for the bridge replacement.  Expect limited access to the lake while the water level is lowered and the project is completed.

Anglers with a valid fishing license will be allowed to harvest any size or number of largemouth bass, channel catfish, and all other fish species from McKinley Lake. 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. Trot lines will be allowed (name and address must be attached), however lines may not be set across the entire water body. It is illegal to transport water or fish from McKinley Lake to any other waterbody. All navigation rules still apply.

Liberalized fishing regulations for McKinley Lake will remain in effect through December 1, 2016. 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.

•    Removal of the two line/two hook fishing restriction, however anglers must still adhere to the being within visual sight of the lines.

McKinley Lake has a fish consumption advisory for channel catfish due to elevated levels of polychlorinated biphenyls that accumulate in the fish tissue. Individuals should not consume more than one meal per week of channel catfish harvested from McKinley Lake. 

The DNR will restock the lake if needed after the project is completed and the lake returns to normal pool. 

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