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5 Awesome Tips for Spring Panfish Fishing

5 Awesome Tips for Spring Panfish Fishing

  • 5/1/2015 8:54:00 AM
  • View Count 11236
Crappies and bluegills are biting in small ponds and lakes across Iowa. Spring panfish fishing is a great opportunity to introduce beginners of all ages to fishing. Panfish can be caught easily and are excellent to eat. Grab your fishing pole and tackle box and try these simple tips for a fun and successful spring fishing season.
14 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Recycle

14 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Recycle

  • 5/1/2015 8:28:00 AM
  • View Count 6067
Paper, sure. Plastic, cardboard, of course. But before you toss those old shingles or paint, or dump a box of Styrofoam packing peanuts in the trash, you’ll want to look up where you can recycle them.
Five Awesome Outdoorsy Spring Recipes

Five Awesome Outdoorsy Spring Recipes

  • 5/1/2015 5:34:00 AM
  • View Count 8978
Set the table, because spring in Iowa is a great time to fill the frying pan and warm up the grill for the best of Iowa's outdoors, from crappie and turkey to morels and wild asparagus.
Top Spots to Hunt Turkey This Spring

Top Spots to Hunt Turkey This Spring

  • 5/1/2015 5:10:00 AM
  • View Count 3159
While we’re not about to give away anybody’s prized hunting spot, there are areas better than others when it comes to turkey hunting. Use these tips to scout out your own site this year, And don’t forget to brush up on your basic turkey hunting safety tips:
6 Water Trails to Explore This Spring

6 Water Trails to Explore This Spring

  • 4/30/2015 10:36:00 AM
  • View Count 13384
If you’re looking to blaze a new trail this spring, consider hitting the water for something different. Iowa boasts a number of water trails, which offer a unique perspective on Iowa in spring.
Bee Beautiful – 5 Tips to Attract Pollinators to Your Backyard

Bee Beautiful – 5 Tips to Attract Pollinators to Your Backyard

  • 4/29/2015 10:29:00 AM
  • View Count 11842
One out of every three bites of food we eat relies on pollinators, mostly insects, to reproduce. Unfortunately, bees (colony and solitary), butterflies and moths, bats, birds and beetles are facing challenges due to habitat loss, disease, parasites and pesticides.
Take a Spring Wildflower No-Pick Scavenger Hunt

Take a Spring Wildflower No-Pick Scavenger Hunt

  • 4/24/2015 8:20:00 AM
  • View Count 4712
The colorful return of wildflowers to Iowa's woodlands each spring is a thankful sign that winter is (mostly) behind us. Head out to an Iowa state park or preserve to take in the show, and be sure to take along a guide or our no-pick scavenger hunt list.
Helping Kids Be Thankful for Nature

Helping Kids Be Thankful for Nature

  • 4/22/2015 9:35:00 AM
  • View Count 5700
Our modern lives are busy, with work, school, errands and all kinds of organized activities – often making it hard to find time in natural areas. Make sure your kids – or any of your friends or family, really – can foster a love of and respect for nature, with these tips.
Foraging for Wild Asparagus: Hunting and Cooking

Foraging for Wild Asparagus: Hunting and Cooking

  • 4/22/2015 9:33:00 AM
  • View Count 17819
When I was young, I did not like asparagus. But on a spring camping trip, I found a few spears of wild asparagus, and skeptically threw them into a pot of boiling water. The sweet, juicy, fresh taste changed my mind on the spot.
4 Lures You Need for Crappie Fishing in Iowa

4 Lures You Need for Crappie Fishing in Iowa

  • 4/22/2015 8:48:00 AM
  • View Count 60829
It’s that time of year that anglers across Iowa have been waiting for – crappies are biting. Crappies are one of the most frequently caught panfish. Add one of these lures suggested by our fisheries biologists to your tackle box and start planning your next spring fishing trip.
Four Creative Morel Mushroom Recipes

Four Creative Morel Mushroom Recipes

  • 4/17/2015 9:01:00 AM
  • View Count 14758
There’s nothing better than some fresh-picked morels lightly sautéed in butter, but if you’re looking for a way to change up your morel routine, here are some new recipes to try. Remember, it's best to learn how to identify mushrooms (including what's edible and what's not) in-person from an experienced mushroom hunter.
Leave Wildlife Babies in the Wild

Leave Wildlife Babies in the Wild

  • 4/17/2015 8:05:00 AM
  • View Count 8363
If you find an animal baby that appears to be on its own, don’t worry. Generally, one of its parents is nearby, watching.
Get Ready for Spring Camping [Checklist]

Get Ready for Spring Camping [Checklist]

  • 4/15/2015 6:56:00 AM
  • View Count 1518
It's that time of year when it's time to dust off the tents and equipment or pull the camper out of storage. With water being turned on soon in state park campgrounds (parks vary, always call ahead first), it won't be long before camping become a regular activity again. Use our handy checklist to get ready for that first outing of spring!
Four Great Spring Cabin Getaways in Iowa State Parks

Four Great Spring Cabin Getaways in Iowa State Parks

  • 4/10/2015 10:26:00 AM
  • View Count 2644
From now until mid-May, state park cabins can be rented for two-day minimums (instead of the week-long requirement during the summer season). Shake off the winter blues by renting a cabin for a couple of days. Take a spring hike or bike ride. Grab some binoculars and do a little wildlife watching. Birding is great during this peak migration time. And, of course, there is always fishing – spring offers some of the best!
6 Tips for Catch and Release Fishing

6 Tips for Catch and Release Fishing

  • 4/10/2015 8:54:00 AM
  • View Count 6194
Every angler should be prepared to release some of their catch. Whether you are practicing catch and release by choice or to comply with regulations, it is necessary to release the fish quickly. Follow these simple tips to give the fish you release the best chance for survival.
50 Tips to Spot Morels

50 Tips to Spot Morels

  • 4/8/2015 8:51:00 AM
  • View Count 402540
Here’s how to put more morels in your basket from mushrooming expert and former science teacher Mike Krebill.
11 Things You Need in Your Tackle Box Right Now - Spring Fishing Edition

11 Things You Need in Your Tackle Box Right Now - Spring Fishing Edition

  • 4/3/2015 8:10:00 AM
  • View Count 2169
Fishing is a great way for families and friends to enjoy being outdoors and learn new skills. Pack your tackle box with these basic necessities for a fun and successful spring fishing trip. Don’t forget to bring along your fishing license and a camera to capture all the memories.
Finding Injured Wildlife: What to Do

Finding Injured Wildlife: What to Do

  • 4/3/2015 7:52:00 AM
  • View Count 5637
When Pete Vande Poppe spotted a great horned owl along Highway 60 near Alton about a month ago, he knew something wasn’t right. He swung by home to tell his wife, Gretchen. She grabbed the camera and off they went, finding the owl in the grass alongside the road.
Cool Things You Should Know About Prairie Chickens

Cool Things You Should Know About Prairie Chickens

  • 4/2/2015 10:22:00 AM
  • View Count 5951
Early in April, eerie, hollow booming reverberates over a field near Kellerton, the last remnant of greater prairie chicken habitat in Iowa. Go to the lek, or breeding ground, to hear the males begin their courtship rituals. Watch as they shrink and expand leathery orange sacs on each side of their necks to make the haunting sounds that hens love.
Eight Historical CCC Parks To Visit in Iowa

Eight Historical CCC Parks To Visit in Iowa

  • 3/31/2015 11:26:00 AM
  • View Count 19409
From the iconic boathouse at Backbone, to the spillway at Beeds Lake, to the varied and beautiful stone lodges and shelters within so many of our parks, we owe a debt of gratitude to the men of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Celebrate the CCC’s anniversary, March 31, by planning a trip to one of these stand-out examples of CCC projects in Iowa.
How Do Birds Know to Return in the Spring?

How Do Birds Know to Return in the Spring?

  • 3/27/2015 9:07:00 AM
  • View Count 5632
Common sense tells us birds fly south in the winter to escape the harsh conditions of the north, and return “home” in the spring when the weather improves. While that theory doesn’t fly in the face of truth, it isn’t altogether factual, given most birds are well-equipped to handle extreme temperatures.
Spring Turkey Hunting Safety Tips

Spring Turkey Hunting Safety Tips

  • 3/27/2015 8:43:00 AM
  • View Count 3486
An estimated 50,000 hunters will be in the timber this spring pursuing the elusive wild turkey and while the woods will not be crawling with hunters, there is a chance for an occasional encounter. Hunters should practice defensive hunting techniques.  Hunters should make a loud statement like “hey – hunter over here,” if they see someone coming into the same area. One loud noise shouldn’t scare a bird too much because loud noises happen in the woods. However, don’t make motion or throw something to get the oth...
Build a Bluebird House [Tutorial]

Build a Bluebird House [Tutorial]

  • 3/13/2015 5:49:00 AM
  • View Count 11160
Bluebirds should be arriving soon in Iowa, so now's a great time to clean out those bluebird boxes, or if you don't have one yet, to build your own!
Viking Lake Work Has Lasting Effect on Fishing, Water Quality

Viking Lake Work Has Lasting Effect on Fishing, Water Quality

  • 3/6/2015 7:35:00 AM
  • View Count 1834
Once so thick with algae that the water looked more like green paint than water, southwest Iowa’s Viking Lake has been on the up and up since a major watershed improvement there wrapped up in 2009.Five years of monitoring Viking Lake in southwest Iowa reveals the lake is clean enough to be removed from the list of Iowa impaired waters for algae growth.
Why Are Robins So Big in the Spring?

Why Are Robins So Big in the Spring?

  • 3/5/2015 11:24:00 AM
  • View Count 7286
Just like the first sighting of a robin marks spring for many people, so does the arrival of animal babies. But in this case, robins aren’t big in the spring because they’re ready to lay eggs. They’re not bigger at all – just really cold.
Wetlands Project Sinks Hole-in-one

Wetlands Project Sinks Hole-in-one

  • 3/5/2015 5:35:00 AM
  • View Count 1358
The cackle of pheasants has returned along the north and west sides of Okoboji View Golf Course in Spirit Lake after a major watershed improvement project created wetlands and native prairie on 350 acres.
7 Reasons to Visit Honey Creek Resort this Spring

7 Reasons to Visit Honey Creek Resort this Spring

  • 2/27/2015 10:50:00 AM
  • View Count 1458
Enjoy a close-to-home getaway for a wonderful meal or an outdoor spring break adventure. Honey Creek Resort State Park has seven exciting reasons to visit this March and April.
Knots Every Angler Should Know

Knots Every Angler Should Know

  • 2/25/2015 9:15:00 AM
  • View Count 7794
Knot tying is an essential skill for beginning anglers to learn. It's not hard - it just takes some practice. Knot tying is best learned with monofilament fishing line. Try these easy to tie knots to get you started.
Learn More About the Least Weasel

Learn More About the Least Weasel

  • 2/25/2015 5:10:00 AM
  • View Count 1648
While it can still be common in specific locales in northern Iowa, for the most part, the least weasel is now pretty rare in Iowa.
Jump Into Winter Wildlife Tracking

Jump Into Winter Wildlife Tracking

  • 2/25/2015 4:28:00 AM
  • View Count 3384
Kids (of all ages!) love discovery, and what better way to feed that need than by turning snowbound winter days into a fun family or couple’s outing. Better yet, set aside time for regular outdoor jaunts to create a memorable tradition.
Snag a Paddlefish This Spring With These Pointers

Snag a Paddlefish This Spring With These Pointers

  • 2/25/2015 3:57:00 AM
  • View Count 2469
Anglers fishing the Missouri and Big Sioux Rivers this spring have a new angling opportunity. The new paddlefish fishing season opens March 1 and runs through April 15 (sunrise to sunset).
Central Park Lake Poised for Return

Central Park Lake Poised for Return

  • 2/20/2015 5:56:00 AM
  • View Count 1570
Central Park Lake encompasses only 25 acres, but the 297-acre park is a popular recreation destination in Jones County, despite the lake’s listing as “impaired” due to excess algae, bacteria and pH.
Winter Camouflage and Coloration in Iowa's Wildlife

Winter Camouflage and Coloration in Iowa's Wildlife

  • 2/20/2015 5:18:00 AM
  • View Count 2782
For many Iowa animals, the stark landscape – bare trees and a bright white groundcover – makes them stand out more in the winter, which is good news for those who enjoy watching wildlife. But for a few Iowa critters, winter is a time for them to blend in with the scenery.
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