Fishing Iowa's Interior Rivers

Iowa’s rivers and streams continue to be popular destinations of Iowa anglers, with thousands of miles of rivers fishable across the entire state. Stream fishing has a particular fascination to people who enjoy Iowa’s natural landscapes and a unique angling challenge around every bend.

The Iowa DNR is hard at work to provide more detailed fishing information on Iowa streams, including maps, amenities and more. Some of this information is currently available on our Recreation Atlas.

For additional information check out our water trail maps and brochures.
Interior Rivers
Search for River: Sort Reverse
River County Location Length in miles
Big Sioux River Woodbury 129.00
Middle River Warren There is not a public access to the Middle River within Warren County. 127.00
East Nishnabotna River Fremont Red Oak city limits has river access and hard surface boat ramp 123.00
West Nishnabotna River Fremont 121.00
Floyd River Woodbury 114.00
Boone River Webster 111.00
Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock) Washington McKain's River Access : Dogwood Avenue on the South side of the River. 3 miles North of Lake Darling State Park. 110.00
Middle Raccoon River (above Van Meter) Dallas The best access is the hard surface ramp below the dam in the city of Redfield. 110.00
North River Warren There is not a public access to the North River within Warren County. 107.00
Iowa River (Marshalltown to Coralville Lake) Iowa This stretch is located in Marshall, Tama, the SW corner of Benton, Iowa, and Johnson County. 104.00
Little Sioux River (state line to Linn Grove) Buena Vista 97.50
Turkey River (above Clermont) Fayette 89.00
Wapsipinicon River (state line to Tripoli) Chickasaw 88.00
North Raccoon River (Auburn to Perry) Greene 87.00
Boyer River (above Dunlap) Crawford 84.00
Maquoketa River (below Monticello) Jackson 82.00
Volga River Clayton 81.00
Little Sioux River (Linn Grove to Correctionville) Woodbury 80.00
East Fork Des Moines (state line to Algona) Kossuth 80.00
Upper Iowa River (above Decorah) Winneshiek 79.00
Cedar River (Nashua to La Porte City) Black Hawk North Cedar Park located on the north side of Highway 188 east of Plainfield is an excellent hard surface boat launch. 77.00
Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills) Buchanan Most angling occurs below Sweet Marsh Reservoir or Highway 3 and south to Troy Mills. 73.00
Winnebago River Floyd 72.00
East Nodaway River Page 72.00
West Fork Cedar River Black Hawk Best access locations are west of Highway 14 below the Big Marsh Wildlife Area in Butler County. 68.00
Maquoketa River (above Monticello) Delaware Access points begin below the dam at Backbone State Park. 68.00
Iowa River (Iowa Falls to Marshalltown) Marshall This stretch is located in Hardin and Marshall County 66.00
Wapsipinicon River (Oxford Junct to Mississippi R) Scott Wapsi River Environmental Education Center : 31555 52nd Avenue, Dixon, Iowa 52745. Northeast of Dixon along the Wapsi River. And Sherman Park across the River in Clinton County 66.00
Turkey River (below Clermont) Clayton 65.00
Skunk River (Coppock to Mississippi River) Des Moines Mac Coon Access is located five and one-half miles north of Lockridge just east of Willow Blvd. 65.00
Missouri River (Sioux City to Little Sioux) Harrison Chris Larsen Park: 1280 Larsen Park Road/Sioux City, IA. Located on the Sioux City riverfront along the Missouri River. Larsen Park offers 110 acres on the Sioux City Riverfront. Managed by the City of Sioux City. 64.00
South River Warren 63.00
Cedar River (above Nashua) Floyd 63.00
Missouri River (Council Bluffs to state line) Fremont Lake Manawa State Park: 1100 South Shore Drive/Council Bluffs, IA 51501 phone: 712-366-0220. Managed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Lake Manawa State Park has boat ramps on the Missouri River within the park. 61.00
Des Moines River (Ottumwa to Farmington) Van Buren 61.00
Chariton River (above Rathbun Lake) Lucas 60.00
South Skunk River (Cambridge to Pella) Marion A hard surface access is located South of Cambridge on the north side of Highway 210, 3 miles east of Interstate 35. 58.00
Shell Rock River (above Greene) Floyd 58.00
Des Moines River (Stratford to Saylorville Lake) Polk The Highway 30 Access is in the middle of this river section and is located 3 miles west of Boone on the north side of Highway 30. 57.00
Little Sioux River (Correctionville to Missouri R) Harrison Little Sioux Park, 2 miles SW of Correctionville, Woodberry County Conservation Board 57.00
Upper Iowa River (below Decorah) Allamakee 57.00
Cedar River (La Porte City to Cedar Rapids) Linn This stretch is located in Benton and Linn County. 56.00
Cedar River (Cedar Rapids to Moscow) Cedar This stretch is found in Linn and Cedar County. 55.00
Rock River Sioux 55.00
Des Moines River (Humboldt to Stratford) Webster 53.00
Missouri River (Little Sioux to Council Bluffs) Pottawattamie Wilson Island State Recreation Area: 32801 Campground Lane/Missouri Valley, IA 51555 phone-712-642-2069. Managed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Wilson Island Recreation Area has 544 acres along the Missouri River near Missouri Valley Iowa. 53.00
Wapsipinicon River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction) Jones This stretch is located in Linn and Jones County. 53.00
Yellow River Allamakee 53.00
West Nodaway River (above Villisca) Montgomery 52.00
East Fork Des Moines (Algona to Humboldt) Humboldt 52.00
Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock) Marion A mid-section access point for this stretch of river is at the Pleasant Hill Boat Ramp. This ramp is located on SE Vandalia Drive immediately east of Highway 65. 50.00
Iowa River (above Iowa Falls) Hardin 49.00
West Fork Des Moines (Emmetsburg to Humboldt) Humboldt 48.00
Des Moines River (Red Rock to Ottumwa) Wapello 47.00
North Skunk River (above Lynnville) Jasper The only public access above Lynnville is the carry down access in Homdahl Park on the SE side of Kellogg. 46.00
North Skunk River (Lynnville to Rose Hill) Mahaska 43.00
Grand River Decatur 41.00
West Fork Des Moines (state line to Emmetsburg) Palo Alto 40.00
English River Washington Riverside Access : on the South side of Riverside. Has a hard surface ramp but it is only usable during highwater, mostly used as a canoe take out. 37.00
Des Moines River (Farmington to Keokuk) Lee Redwing Access : 3941 Valley Road just west of Keokuk. 35.00
Boyer River (Dunlap to Missouri River) Pottawattamie Highway 30 bridge in Woodbine. Easting 275280 Northing 4623540 34.00
Cedar River (Moscow to Columbus Junction) Muscatine Saulsbury Bridge Recreational Area :•2007 Saulsbury Road, Muscatine, Iowa 52761 •From Highway 61 in Muscatine go 2.5 miles north on Mulberry Rd., then 4 miles west on Saulsbury Rd. 32.00
Chariton River (below Rathbun Lake) Appanoose 31.00
North Raccoon River (Perry to Van Meter) Dallas A mid-section access point for this section of river is at the Highway 44 Access 4 miles west of Dallas Center. 31.00
Raccoon River (below Van Meter) Polk The best access for this stretch of river is the Walnut Woods State Park access off of Walnut Woods Drive 1 mile north of the Highway 5 bypass on the SW side of Des Moines. 31.00
Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi R) Louisa Cappy Russell Access : West of Oakville 6444 County Road X-71, Oakville, IA 52646 30.00
South Skunk River (Story City to Cambridge) Story A mid-section access is the Sleepy Hollow Access off of West Riverside Road just east of Highway 69 on the north side of Ames. 30.00
Iowa River (Coralville Lake to River Junction) Johnson This stretch is located in Johnson County. 29.00
Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock) Butler The city of Greene is located at the junction of Highway 14 and County Rd. C13. 26.00
West Nodaway River (Villisca to state line) Page 26.00
Iowa River (River Junction to Columbus Junction) Louisa River Forks Access : 1001 Main Street, Fredonia, IA 52738 24.00
South Skunk River (Pella to Rose Hill) Mahaska 20.00
North Raccoon River (above Auburn) Sac 9.00
Iowa-Caught Fish Are Safe to Eat
The vast majority of Iowa’s streams, rivers and lakes offer safe and high-quality fish that pose little or no threat to human health if consumed. Some limitations may apply for young children and pregnant women. Here’s a Fish Consumption Fact Sheet from the Iowa DNR and the Iowa Dept. of Public Health for more information. Here is a list of current fish consumption advisories for Iowa lakes and rivers.