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East Okoboji Lake

General Information

County: Dickinson
Location: east edge of Okoboji
Acres: 1835.00
Maximum Depth: 22 ft. (1970)
Motoring Restrictions: none

Amenities

Amenities at East Okoboji Lake include:
  • Boat Access
  • Fishing Jetty
  • Accessible Pier
  • Boat Rental
  • Picnic Area
  • Beach
  • Trails
  • Accessible Facilities
  • Playground
  • Restrooms
  • Camping
  • Hard Surface Boat Ramp

Fishing Report

For lake updates and fishing information for Northwest Iowa, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.
Walleye - Fair: Anglers with the best success are working deeper areas with both live bait rigs and deep running crank baits. Trolling across the deep ends of structure is producing a few nice keepers.
Bluegill - Fair: Small ice jigs tipped with red worms or other live bait when presented near weedlines is producing some angler acceptable fish right now. Early morning seems to be when most folks are fishing these spots.
Yellow Bass - Good: Deep weed lines and structures are providing the best action to anglers who use small jigs tipped with live bait.
Channel Catfish - Good: Cut bait, chicken livers, and stink bait presented in the evenings and overnight hours is producing a number of nice agressive catfish for anglers.
Yellow Perch - Fair: Pilkies tipped with red worms worked near rocky points have been producing a few nice perch. Be prepared to sort some small ones, but anglers can count on keeping some for the freezer.

Fishing Forecast

Spring 2012 Gil Netting Season – Gill nets are set each spring to collect broodstock walleye, muskie and northern pike for the Spirit Lake hatchery operation. All fish are counted during the netting operation to assess the overall fish populations of East Okoboji Lake. The lack of winter weather and record high temperatures helped make March 2012 the warmest on record in Iowa. This unseasonable weather pattern resulted in early ice out and higher than normal water temperatures, which may have contributed to the untypical 2012 gill net season; therefore, comparing this season’s catch to historical gill net values may be problematic. Walleyes were again detected in good numbers during the 2012 gill net season. A walleye catch rate of 37 fish per crew night decreased from the 2011 catch rate of 49 fish per crew night, however; catch rates remained high with this sample the fourth highest recorded since 1937 (53 fish per net), indicating excellent numbers of this species in East Okoboji Lake. Muskie catch rates also remained high during the 2012 gill net season. A muskie catch rate of 11 fish per crew night declined (14 fish per crew night, 2011 gill net season); however, catch rates were the sixth highest recorded since brood stock muskies were first sampled in 1965, indicating the continued presence of good numbers of muskie in East Okoboji Lake. A northern pike catch rate of 7 fish per crew night declined (11fish per crew night; 2011 spring gill net season) during the 2012 gill net season; however catch rates remained significantly greater than the lakes median value of 3 fish per crew night, (1 – 5 fish per crew night, lower and upper percentiles) indicating good numbers of northern pike in the catch. Largemouth and smallmouth bass continue to be detected in limited numbers in the brood stock catch in East Okoboji Lake. Catch rates have typically remained low and the 2012 spring gill netting season was no exception. Historically, low numbers of bass have been sampled by gill nets in East Okoboji Lake. White bass were again detected in superb numbers during the 2012 gill net season. A white bass catch rate of 18 fish per crew night decreased (193 fish per crew night, 2011 gill net season); with catch rates higher but comparable to the lakes median value of 3 fish per crew night (1 – 18, lower and upper percentiles). This population has no doubt expanded since 1991 and has continued on an up-cycle in East Okoboji Lake. Channel catfish were detected in high numbers for the third consecutive year and is the second highest catch rate recorded since brood stock collection began in 1936. A channel catfish catch of 26 fish per crew night remained fairly stable (23 fish per night, 2011 gill net catch); with catch rates remaining significantly higher than the lakes median value for the eight consecutive year, reflecting a continued expanded population in East Okoboji Lake. A bullhead catch rate of 6 fish per crew night remained relatively unchanged for the third consecutive year. A bullhead catch rate of 6 fish per crew night remained unchanged during the 2012 gill net season, (6 and 7 fish per crew night; 2011 and 2010 spring gill net season) and remained comparable to the lakes median value of 5 fish per night (2 – 12; lower and upper percentiles). Catch rates the past three years suggests a fairly stable bullhead population in East Okoboji Lake. Rough fish comprised of carp, buffalo, freshwater drum and suckers were detected in varying densities during the 2012 gill net season, indicating the continued presence of these species in East Okoboji Lake. Carp catch rates returned to normalcy during the 2012 gill net season. A carp catch rate of 7 fish per crew night (10 fish per crew night; 2011 gill net season) was comparable to the lakes median value of 5 fish per night. Carp catch rates during the 2012 gill net season were no doubt influenced by low water and the lack of flow of the spillway. Freshwater drum, buffalo and suckers were also detected during the 2012 gill net season. YOUNG OF THE YEAR ASSESSMENT: No young of the year walleye, for the second consecutive year were detected during the 2012 500’ bag seine assessment, suggesting very limited or no success of the springtime fry stocking in East Okoboji Lake. Young of the year bluegill were detected in higher but comparable numbers during the East Okoboji Lake 500 foot drag seine assessment. A bluegill catch rate of 1,431 fish per haul was approximately two times higher than the lakes median value (754 fish per haul); however catch rates were comparable (187 – 2,091 lower and upper percentiles) suggesting good spawning success. Young of the year largemouth bass were detected in the catch in typical numbers during the East Okoboji Lake 500 foot drag seine assessment. A catch rate of 6 YOY largemouth bass per haul was higher but comparable to the lakes median value (0 – 6, lower and upper percentiles) suggesting spawning success of the largemouth bass population of East Okoboji Lake. White bass catch rates returned to a more typical catch during the 2012 East Okoboji bag seine assessment. A catch rate of 7white bass per haul was two times higher than the lakes median value of 3 fish per haul; with, catch rates comparable to typical catch rates ( 0 – 20 lower and upper percentiles) indicating good spawning success of the white bass population of East Okoboji Lake. Yellow bass continued to be sampled during the 2012 drag seine assessment. A total of 65 young of the year yellow bass were sampled, suggesting spawning success of this species in East Okoboji Lake. Young of the year crappie catch increased during the 2012 East Okoboji Lake 500 foot drag seine assessment. A catch rate of 112 fish per haul increased (30 fish per haul; 2011 500 foot drag seine assessment) and is comparable to the lakes median value of 104 fish per haul; (38 – 208 fish per haul; lower and upper percentile values) suggesting good spawning success.. Young of the year yellow perch catch rates declined during the 2012 East Okoboji Lake 500 drag seine assessment. A yellow perch catch rate of 10 fish per haul (35 fish per haul, 2011 500 foot bag seine assessment) was comparable to the lakes median value of 28 fish per haul, (7 – 88 lower and upper percentiles) indicating typical spawning success of this species in East Okoboji Lake. Spottail shiners were detected in comparable numbers during the 2012 drag seine assessment. A catch rate of 45 spottail shiners per haul was similar to the lakes median value (32 fish per haul; 4 – 138, lower and upper percentiles). This catch rate suggests typical numbers exists in East Okoboji Lake. Subadult catch rates of bluegill were detected in significantly greater numbers, indicating strong year classes, which will recruit and provide an upswing to the fishery in the next few years. Yellow perch, crappie and white bass were detected in varying degrees; however, catch rates remained comparable to their respective norms suggesting year class formation of these species in East Okoboji Lake. (2012)


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Regulations

Fish Surveys

Lake Fish Survey Data Data from the most recent fisheries survey of this lake is provided on this external web site. This data may include information from various netting surveys and/or electroshocking surveys. Data includes numbers of fish sampled, and fish size ranges. Not all lakes are sampled every year.

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Water Quality

Iowa-Caught Fish Are Safe to Eat, In Almost All Cases

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.

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