Big Creek Lake

General Information

County: Polk
Location: 2 miles north of Polk City
Acres: 814.00
Maximum Depth: 53.4 ft. (2006 - Data collected as part of the statewide lake mapping program.)
Motoring Restrictions: No Size Limit at No Wake

Nearby Parks

Big Creek State Park

Amenities

Amenities at Big Creek Lake include:
  • Boat Access
  • Fishing Jetty
  • Accessible Pier
  • Boat Rental
  • Picnic Area
  • Beach
  • Trails
  • Accessible Facilities
  • Playground
  • Restrooms
  • Good/Excellent Shorefishing
  • Hard Surface Boat Ramp
  • Fish Cleaning Station
No recent updates
Download Printable Lake Map
Download Printable Fishing Structures Map

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

  • 10/19/2015 - 4,070 Walleye (8")
  • 05/11/2015 - 300 Muskellunge (12.3")
  • 04/28/2015 - 1,766,000 Walleye (Fry)
  • 10/24/2014 - 4,400 Walleye (8")
  • 05/12/2014 - 2,000,000 Walleye (Fry)
  • 10/28/2013 - 4,100 Walleye (8.9")
  • 05/14/2013 - 1,048 Muskellunge (12.5")
  • 05/08/2013 - 1,800,000 Walleye (Fry)
  • 10/29/2012 - 4,717 Walleye (8.5")
  • 05/24/2012 - 32,097 Walleye (1.6")
  • 05/01/2012 - 1,100 Muskellunge (12.6")
  • 04/20/2012 - 1,766,000 Walleye (Fry)
  • 10/24/2011 - 3,997 Walleye (8.3")
  • 09/08/2011 - 2,335 Channel Catfish (8.3")
  • 06/10/2011 - 31,780 Walleye (1.7")
  • 05/12/2011 - 1,828,625 Walleye (Fry)
  • 10/20/2010 - 7,172 Walleye (9.6")
  • 10/12/2009 - 4,415 Walleye (9.4")
  • 09/18/2009 - 4,800 Channel Catfish (8.0")
  • 05/08/2009 - 1,100 Muskellunge (14.0")
  • 10/14/2008 - 5,664 Walleye (9.0")
  • 05/21/2008 - 1,443 Muskellunge (13.5")
  • 10/15/2007 - 6,033 Walleye (9.7")
  • 05/20/2007 - 4,928 Channel Catfish (8.0")
  • 10/20/2006 - 4,015 Walleye (9.5")
  • 09/25/2006 - 4,000 Channel Catfish (6.2")
  • 05/03/2006 - 900 Muskellunge (14.0")
The Fishing Regulations brochure is available for download. The summaries listed below are a partial listing provided for your benefit.

  • 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:
  • Common Carp
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: none
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other: May be taken by hand fishing, by snagging, by spear or by bow and arrow, day or night.
  • Freshwater Drum
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: none
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other: May be taken by hand fishing, by snagging, by spear or by bow and arrow, day or night.
  • Largemouth Bass
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined black bass, 3 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined black bass, 6 fish
    • Length Limit: 18-inch minimum
    • Other:
  • Muskellunge
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined: muskellunge and tiger muskellunge, 1 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined: muskellunge and tiger muskellunge, 1 fish
    • Length Limit: 40-inch minimum
    • Other:
  • Smallmouth Bass
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined black bass, 3 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined black bass, 6 fish
    • Length Limit: 15-inch minimum
    • Other:
  • Walleye
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: 3 fish
    • Possession Limit: 6 fish
    • Length Limit: 15-inch minimum length limit
    • Other: No more than one walleye longer than 20 inches may be taken per day
  • White Bass
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: none
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • White 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
  • White Sucker
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: none
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other: May be taken by hand fishing, by snagging, by spear or by bow and arrow, day or night.
  • Yellow Perch
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: 25 fish
    • Possession Limit: 50 fish
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
Big Creek has held a quality bluegill fishery, but anglers should prepare for a decline in the quality of the bluegills due to the increased gizzard shad population. 2016 surveys showed bluegills from 3 to 9.5 inches, with a big increase in the 3 to 5 inch range now that young bluegill are not the primary forage base for predator species. Crappie abundance was slightly higher in 2016 sampling. This could set up for a good crappie spawn in 2017 and 2018 which could bring back better crappie fishing in Big Creek. Black crappie sampled in 2016 were 7 to 13.5 inches with most in the 8 to 10 inch range. White crappie sampled were all one year class running 8 to 10 inches. The 2016 surveys continue to show lower numbers of white bass than in the past, but the ones present are good sizes up to 15 inches. Hybrid striped bass were reintroduced into Big Creek in 2016 to take advantage of the large gizzard shad population. This should provide another location with a good opportunity to catch some large hybrids in the near future. Channel catfish were not targeted in the 2016 surveys, but are abundant with sizes from 10 to 30 inches with many being 15 to 18 inches. The largemouth bass population is not dense in Big Creek, but is looking good. Bass were surveyed from 8 to 20.5 inches with most fish between 11 and 17 inches. There is a fair population of smallmouth bass present, mostly in the lower portion of the lake, with sizes between 8 and 17.5 inches surveyed. Due to changes in stocking strategy over the past 5 years walleye numbers have increased significantly. Angler catches of legal fish over 15 inches were much better in 2016 and looks to hold this way for 2017. The muskie population is improving due to the fish barrier that has prevented them from leaving the lake over the spillway. Muskie densities are reaching management goals following a crash in 2008. Chances at muskies over 40 inches will continue to improve.(2016)

Contacts

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.