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
Boone River Webster 111.00
Boyer River (above Dunlap) Crawford 84.00
Boyer River (Dunlap to Missouri River) Pottawattamie Highway 30 bridge in Woodbine. Easting 275280 Northing 4623540 34.00
Cedar River (above Nashua) Floyd This stretch is found in Chickasaw, Floyd, and Mitchell County. A popular multi-use location is the Charles City Whitewater Park in downtown Charles City on Hwy 14. 63.00
Cedar River (Cedar Rapids to Moscow) Cedar This stretch is found in Linn and Cedar County. A popular access is found in Palisades State Park which is on Hwy 30 between Cedar Rapids and Mount Vernon. 55.00
Cedar River (La Porte City to Cedar Rapids) Linn This stretch is located in Benton and Linn County. A popular river access is in the Dudgeon Lake Wildlife Area right of Hwy 150 on the North side of Vinton. 56.00
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
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
Chariton River (above Rathbun Lake) Lucas 60.00
Chariton River (below Rathbun Lake) Appanoose 31.00
Des Moines River (Red Rock to Ottumwa) Wapello 47.00
Des Moines River (Farmington to Keokuk) Lee Redwing Access : 3941 Valley Road just west of Keokuk. 35.00
Des Moines River (Humboldt to Stratford) Webster 53.00
Des Moines River (Ottumwa to Farmington) Van Buren 61.00
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
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
East Fork Des Moines (Algona to Humboldt) Humboldt 52.00
East Fork Des Moines (state line to Algona) Kossuth This stretch or river is in Kossuth County. Plum Creek Dam on 240th Street is a popular place to access the river. 80.00
East Nishnabotna River Fremont Red Oak city limits has river access and hard surface boat ramp 123.00
East Nodaway River Page 72.00
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
Floyd River Woodbury 114.00
Grand River Decatur 41.00
Iowa River (above Iowa Falls) Hardin 49.00
Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi R) Louisa Cappy Russell Access : West of Oakville 6444 County Road X-71, Oakville, IA 52646 30.00
Iowa River (Coralville Lake to River Junction) Johnson This stretch is located in Johnson County. A popular access is the Tailwater East Ramp located right below the Coralville Lake Dam, East of North Liberty and Coralville. 29.00
Iowa River (Iowa Falls to Marshalltown) Marshall This stretch is located in Hardin and Marshall County. A popular access is located in Pine Lake State Park, just east of Eldora on County Road S56. 66.00
Iowa River (Marshalltown to Coralville Lake) Iowa This stretch is located in Marshall, Tama, the SW corner of Benton, Iowa, and Johnson County. A popular access is at the Hwy 21 Access, which is part of the Iowa River Corridor Wildlife Area, just south of Belle Plaine. 104.00
Iowa River (River Junction to Columbus Junction) Louisa River Forks Access : 1001 Main Street, Fredonia, IA 52738 24.00
Little Sioux River (Correctionville to Missouri R) Harrison Little Sioux Park, 2 miles SW of Correctionville, Woodberry County Conservation Board 57.00
Little Sioux River (Linn Grove to Correctionville) Woodbury 80.00
Little Sioux River (state line to Linn Grove) Buena Vista 97.50
Maquoketa River (above Monticello) Delaware Access points begin below the dam at Backbone State Park. 68.00
Maquoketa River (below Monticello) Jackson 82.00
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
Middle River Warren There is not a public access to the Middle River within Warren County. 127.00
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
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
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
North Raccoon River (above Auburn) Sac 9.00
North Raccoon River (Auburn to Perry) Greene 87.00
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
North River Warren There is not a public access to the North River within Warren County. 107.00
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
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
Rock River Sioux 55.00
Shell Rock River (above Greene) Floyd Located in Worth, Cerro Gordo, and Floyd Counties. A popular access point is Wilkinson Pioneer Park located at the end of CR B20 in Rock Falls. This park is the start of the Shellrock River Greenbelt and Preserve featuring 7.5 mi. of scenic bluffs. 58.00
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
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
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
South River Warren 63.00
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
South Skunk River (Pella to Rose Hill) Mahaska 20.00
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
Turkey River (above Clermont) Fayette This section of river includes the headwaters in Howard county and flows through Winneshiek and Fayette Counties. A popular access is at Vernon Springs Park just 2.5 miles southwest of Cresco. 89.00
Turkey River (below Clermont) Clayton This stretch is found in Fayette and Clayton County. A popular scenic and historical area is the Motor Mill Access about 8 miles southeast of Elkader on Galaxy Road. 65.00
Upper Iowa River (above Decorah) Winneshiek This stretch is found in Howard and Winneshiek County. A popular access is found in Kendallville Park and Campground off of Hwy 139 about 8 miles northeast of Cresco. 79.00
Upper Iowa River (below Decorah) Allamakee This stretch includes Winneshiek and Allamakee County. A popular access is at Lower Dam about 11 miles northeast of Decorah. 57.00
Volga River Clayton This stretch includes the headwaters in Fayette County and flows through Clayton County where it empties into the Turkey River just west of Garber. 81.00
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
Wapsipinicon River (state line to Tripoli) Chickasaw This section includes Bremer, Chickasaw, Howard and Mitchell County. Twin Ponds Park has good access to the Wapsi River and is about 5 miles southeast of Ionia. 88.00
Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills) Buchanan Most angling occurs below Sweet Marsh Reservoir or Highway 3 and south to Troy Mills. 73.00
Wapsipinicon River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction) Jones This stretch is located in Linn and Jones County. A popular access on this stretch is in Pinicon Ridge Park, just off Hwy 13 by Central City. 53.00
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
West Fork Des Moines (Emmetsburg to Humboldt) Humboldt 48.00
West Fork Des Moines (state line to Emmetsburg) Palo Alto 40.00
West Nishnabotna River Fremont 121.00
West Nodaway River (above Villisca) Montgomery 52.00
West Nodaway River (Villisca to state line) Page 26.00
Winnebago River Floyd Located in Winnebago, Hancock, Worth, Cerro Gordo, and Floyd Counties. A good access point is East Park in Mason City. It offers excellent shore access to the river and a good starting point for a float trip down to the Averydale Access. 72.00
Yellow River Allamakee The headwaters of the Yellow River begin in Winneshiek County and flows through Allamakee County and the Effigy Mounds National Monument where it empties into the Mississippi River. 53.00
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.