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Snagging is NOT PERMITTED in the following areas:
  • Des Moines River from directly below the hydro electric dam (Big Dam) to the Hawkeye Avenue Bridge in Fort Dodge.
  • Des Moines River from directly below the Little Dam to the Union Pacific Railroad Bridge in Fort Dodge.
  • Des Moines River from directly below Saylorville Dam to the Southeast 14th Street bridge in Des Moines.
  • Northeast bank of the Des Moines River from directly below the Ottumwa Dam, including the catwalk, to the Jefferson Street Bridge. Snagging from the South Market Street bridge is also prohibited.
  • Cedar River in Cedar Rapids from directly below the 5 in 1 Dam under I-380 to the 1st Avenue bridge.
  • Cedar River in Cedar Rapids from directly below the "C" Street Roller Dam to 300 yards downstream.
  • Iowa River from directly below the Coralville Dam to 300 yards downstream.
  • Chariton River from directly below Lake Rathbun Dam to 300 yards downstream.
  • Missouri River.
  • Big Sioux River from the I-29 bridge to the confluence with the Missouri River.
  • Spillway area from directly below the Spirit Lake outlet to the confluence at East Okoboji Lake.
  • Clear Lake and Ventura Marsh from the Ventura Grade, jetty and bridge.


How many lines and hooks can I use?
  • When still fishing or trolling you can use one or two lines. Each line can have one or two hooks.
  • Each single pointed hook is counted as one hook.
  • Each double-pointed hook is counted as one hook.
  • Each treble-pointed hook is counted as one hook.
  • All hooks attached as a part of an artificial bait or lure are counted as one hook.
When fly fishing you can use one or two flies on one line.

When you are trolling and bait casting you can use one or two trolling spoons or artificial baits on one line.



How close do you have to be in attendance of your fishing tackle?
You must be in visual sight of your fishing tackle when they are being fished in the water.



Can You use a Tip-Up Fishing Device for ice fishing?
A "tip-up fishing device'' means an ice fishing mechanism, with an attached flag or signal to indicate fishing action, used to hold a fishing rod or pole with line and hook.

You can use one or two lines with two hooks while tip-up fishing on all inland waters and the Big Sioux River.

You may fish a combination of one tip-up fishing device and one additional line, or, two tip-up fishing devices and no additional lines.

When fishing the Mississippi River or Missouri River and connected backwater the following regulations apply:
  • You cannot use more than three tip-up fishing devices.
  • You can use two or three hooks on the same line, but the total number of hooks used by each person cannot exceed three.
  • Each tip-up fishing device used in fishing must have a tag attached, plainly labeled with the owner's name and address.
  • You must be 300 feet or more from a dam or spillway to use a tip-up fishing device.
  • Tip-up fishing devices can not be used in a part of the river which is closed or posted against their use.
  • Three tip-up fishing devices may be used in addition to two lines with no more than two hooks per line.


Can You use Trotlines or Throw lines?
"Trotlines" are lines commonly called "tagged lines," "throw lines," "bank lines," "ditty lines, " "ditty poles" and other names.

You can use trotlines in all rivers and streams of the state, except those in Mitchell, Howard, Winneshiek, Allamakee, Fayette, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, and Jackson counties. Trotlines may be used in the above nine counties only in the following stream sections:
  • Maquoketa River, mouth to Backbone State Park dam
  • North Fork Maquoketa River, mouth to Jones-Dubuque county line
  • Turkey River, mouth to Elkader dam
  • Upper Iowa River, mouth to the first dam upstream in Winneshiek County
A valid sport fishing license is needed to use "trotlines". You can use one to five "trotlines". All the "Trotlines" you are using can have a total of 15 hooks. For example: You can have one "trotline" with 15 hooks or 5 "trotlines" with three hooks each.

Each separate "trotline" must have a tag attached, plainly labeled with the owner's name and address. You must check each "trotline" at least once each 24 hours.

You cannot use "trotlines" in a stocked lake, within 300 feet of a dam or spillway, or in a stream or portion of stream, which is closed or posted against their use.

One end of the "trotline" must be set from the shore and visible above the shore waterline. You cannot set the "trotline" entirely across a stream or body of water. Untagged or unlawful lines can be confiscated by any conservation officer.



Is there a Boundary Water Sport Trotline?

A boundary water sport trotline license applies to the waters of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Big Sioux rivers.

A boundary water sport trotline license allows you to use a maximum of four trotlines with 200 hooks (total). All boundary water sport trotlines must be tagged with your name and address on a metal tag affixed above the waterline.

You cannot sell fish with a boundary water sport trotline license.

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