The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is relaxing the fishing regulations at Pickeral Lake, in Buena Vista County, to allow anglers to harvest fish before the lake is drained as part of a renovation project. A tile inlet on the northwest portion of the lake keeping a small area of water open has provided an opportunity for anglers to utilize what fish are left in the system.
Between Jan. 28 and Feb. 11, anglers with a valid fishing license may take fish by any means except dynamite, poison, electroshocking devices, or any stupefying substances. In addition, daily bag and minimum length restrictions are lifted. Taking fish for commercial purposes is not allowed.
The DNR has started drawing down the water level at Pickerel Lake in an effort to improve water quality and the overall ecosystem. Once drained, the existing outlet will be replaced with a new structure that will allow the DNR to manage water levels and a fish barrier will be installed to keep rough fish out of the lake.
Pickeral Lake will remain dry for one to two years to allow the sediment to consolidate then will be refilled and stocked with sport fish.
Anglers should use caution, construction activities are taking place on the east side of Pickeral Lake and anglers should stay clear of that area. Water levels are dropping, potentially causing unsafe ice conditions. Therefore, fishing is restricted to within 100 yards of the tile inlet on the northwest portion of the lake.
The promiscuous fishing designation allows anglers to salvage and utilize imperiled fish populations.
For more information, contact the Black Hawk District Office in Lake View at 712-657-2638.