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Blue Heron Lake (Raccoon River Park)

General Information

County: Polk
Location: southwest of West Des Moines; Raccoon River Park
Acres: 232.00
Maximum Depth: 34 ft. (1997)
Motoring Restrictions: No Size Limit at No Wake


Amenities at Blue Heron Lake (Raccoon River Park) include:
  • Boat Access
  • Accessible Pier
  • Picnic Area
  • Beach
  • Trails
  • Accessible Facilities
  • Playground
  • Restrooms
  • Good/Excellent Shorefishing
  • Hard Surface Boat Ramp

Fishing Report

No recent updates

Fishing Forecast

Hybrid white bass (wipers) were stocked in Blue Heron spring 2011. Sampling was done in the fall to determine their survival and growth. The sampling showed the stocked wipers did survive in good numbers and have reached lengths of 10 to 13 inches. If this good growth continues, an exciting wiper fishery will develop at Blue Heron. White crappies were also seen during the sampling. They are present in good numbers with sizes ranging from 7 to 10 inches. Walleyes are not stocked in Blue Heron, but low numbers are present from fish entering from the Raccoon River. Channel catfish are abundant and the most common sizes sampled ranged from 13 to 21 inches.(2011)

Lake Maps

You can zoom in on the map for bathymetric information for some lakes

Popular Fish Species at this Lake

Fish Stocking

  • 10/01/2013 - 2,021 Channel Catfish (8.5")
  • 05/17/2012 - 100,000 Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) (Fry)
  • 09/07/2011 - 1,686 Channel Catfish (8.3")
  • 09/18/2009 - 2,634 Channel Catfish (8.0")
  • 09/05/2007 - 3,502 Channel Catfish (8.2")
  • 09/20/2006 - 3,501 Channel Catfish (6.0")
  • 10/10/2005 - 500 Channel Catfish (7")
  • 09/21/2004 - 3,600 Channel Catfish (7")


The Fishing Regulations brochure is available for download. The summaries listed below are a partial listing provided for your benefit.

  • Black Crappie
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined black and white crappie, 25 fish
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other: No daily limit on private waters
  • Bluegill
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: 25 fish
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other: No daily limit on private waters
  • Channel Catfish
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined: channel, blue and flathead catfish, 8 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined: channel, blue and flathead catfish, 30 fish
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • Largemouth Bass
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined black bass, 3 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined black bass, 6 fish
    • Length Limit: 15-inch minimum
    • Other:

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.

Lake Mini-report

Lake Reports Summary report information about selected (~130) lakes regarding water quality, upstream land use, usage, economic value and more. Reports are customizable by the user to include only that information which the user desires to include.

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.