The Interior Rivers and Streams team acquire and disseminate information needed to better manage Iowas stream and river fishery resources and, thus, maintain and improve fishing opportunities for Iowa anglers.

Current Projects:

Understanding Watershed/Habitat Relationships: The Key to Lasting Improvements in River Fisheries  
The quality of a stream’s habitat is a reflection of not only the underlying features of its watershed such as soils and geology, but also the past and present activities in the watershed and the stream channel itself.  Information gained from this study will be used to explore relationships between fish communities and habitat found in Iowa streams, and conditions in their watersheds.  A better understanding of what is affecting stream habitat at a given location will provide fishery managers better direction for protecting and enhancing stream habitat, and will ultimately lead to improved river and stream fisheries resources in Iowa.

Response of Fish and Habitat Stream Rehabilitation Practices in Iowa
Stream habitat is recognized as a key factor influencing the health of stream fish populations.   Iowa’s river and stream fish resources have been greatly impacted by habitat degradation. A study began in 2010 to evaluate river and stream rehabilitation practices in Iowa.  This study will help to develop management guidelines for use of stream rehabilitation practices to improve river and stream habitat and fishing opportunities for Iowa anglers. Continued monitoring of current rehabilitation projects, and investigations of additional stream rehabilitation projects will help to guide decision making and lead to improved methods, designs, and allocation of resources for improving Iowa’s river and stream fisheries.

Angler Response to Stream Rehabilitation Practices in Iowa
Over the past several years, there has been increased interest in modifying and removing aging, low head dams on Iowa’s interior rivers.  This interest is driven by safety/liability concerns, deterioration of existing dams, and a desire to increase river recreation opportunities.  Areas below dams are often popular fishing locations.  One common concern about dam removal or modification projects in Iowa is that they will negatively impact angling, particularly below the dam. Measuring the impacts of a dam modification or removal project in Iowa will provide information that will help managers address angler concerns with future projects.  This information may also help to identify project features which benefit anglers that can be incorporated into future projects.

Coop Projects:

Distribution and Abundance of Topeka Shiners in West-Central Iowa Fish Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Iowa’s Non-Wadeable Rivers:  Distribution, Relative Abundance, and Relations with Instream Habitat and Potential Movement Barriers

 Gelwicks_flatheadSimmons_flatheadteam working up fish on river

Int. River_1 Shocking stream Int. River_2

Interior Rivers and Streams Investigations
Fisheries Biologist - Greg Gelwicks
Fisheries Technician - Greg Simmons
Fisheries Technician - Megan Thul

 Manchester Fish Hatchery
 22693 205th Ave
 Manchester, IA 52057
 Office: 563-927-3276