Turkey River (above Clermont)

General Information

County: Fayette
Location: 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.
Acres: 89.00
Maximum Depth:
Motoring Restrictions:

Nearby Parks

Amenities

Amenities at Turkey River (above Clermont) include:
  • Boat Access
  • Picnic Area
  • Trails
  • Accessible Facilities
  • Restrooms
  • Camping
  • Good/Excellent Shorefishing
  • Hard Surface Boat Ramp
  • Carry Down Boat Launch
  • Accessible Shoreline
Be prepared for some unstable weather Thursday through Sunday. Localized flooding is possible is areas with repeated thunderstorms. Wild parsnip continues to be a problem along trails and accesses. Wear light clothing to protect exposed skin from sun and the effects of wild parsnip. For current angling conditions, please contact the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.
Water levels are stabilizing but conditions could change depending on rainfall. Water temperatures are in the mid 70's. Visibility is excellent.
Smallmouth Bass - Good: Lures imitating a crawdad will drive smallies crazy.
Walleye - Fair: Catch a walleye using a crawler or jig and twister tail fished along a current break or in a deeper pool.
Download Printable Lake Map

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

  • 06/01/2015 - 6,088 Walleye (1.7")
  • 05/29/2015 - 14,204 Walleye (2")
  • 05/19/2015 - 1,400 Northern Pike (2.9")
  • 06/05/2014 - 1,730 Northern Pike (2-3")
  • 06/05/2014 - 4,700 Walleye (2")
  • 06/05/2014 - 9,400 Walleye (2")
  • 06/05/2014 - 14,100 Walleye (2")
  • 05/28/2014 - 41,400 Walleye (2")
  • 06/21/2013 - 8,036 Walleye (1.7")
  • 05/29/2013 - 4,044 Northern Pike (2.7")
  • 05/17/2012 - 45,000 Walleye (1.3:)
  • 05/08/2012 - 1,440 Northern Pike (2.8")
  • annual 2011 - 978 Brook Trout (2-3/l)
  • annual 2011 - 9,016 Rainbow Trout (2-3/l)
  • 06/02/2011 - 3,500 Walleye (1.3")
  • 06/02/2011 - 9,600 Walleye (1.2")
  • 06/02/2011 - 18,200 Walleye (1.3")
  • 06/02/2011 - 19,700 Walleye (1.2")
  • 05/18/2011 - 1,564 Northern Pike (2.7")
  • 05/20/2010 - 1,408 Northern Pike (2.5")
  • 05/19/2010 - 3,430 Walleye (1.4")
  • 05/19/2010 - 17,840 Walleye (1.2")
  • 05/27/2009 - 3,500 Walleye (1.6")
  • 05/27/2009 - 18,200 Walleye (1.6")
  • 05/27/2009 - 19,700 Walleye (1.6")
  • 05/11/2009 - 1,447 Northern Pike (2.6")
  • 05/28/2008 - 2,810 Walleye (1.5")
  • 05/28/2008 - 14,660 Walleye (1.5")
  • 05/28/2008 - 18,380 Walleye (1.5")
  • 05/09/2008 - 1,525 Northern Pike (2.3")
  • 06/01/2007 - 784 Northern Pike (4.7")
  • 05/23/2007 - 20,320 Walleye (1.4")
  • 05/21/2007 - 3,500 Walleye (1.4")
  • 05/21/2007 - 18,100 Walleye (1.4")
The Fishing Regulations brochure is available for download. The summaries listed below are a partial listing provided for your benefit.

  • Black Bullhead
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: unlimited
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • Bluegill
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: 25 fish
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • Brook Trout
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined trout (brook, brown, and rainbow) - 5 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined trout (brook, brown, and rainbow) - 10 fish
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other: Anglers must have paid the Trout Fee to fish for or possess trout
  • Brown Trout
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined trout (brook, brown, and rainbow) - 5 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined trout (brook, brown, and rainbow) - 10 fish
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other: Anglers must have paid the Trout Fee to fish for or possess trout
  • 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.
  • Largemouth Bass
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined black bass, 3 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined black bass, 6 fish
    • Length Limit: 12-inch minimum
    • Other:
  • Northern Pike
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: 3 fish
    • Possession Limit: 6 fish
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • Rock Bass
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: none
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • Smallmouth Bass
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined black bass, 3 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined black bass, 6 fish
    • Length Limit: 12-inch minimum
    • Other:
  • Walleye
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined walleye, sauger and saugeye; 5 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined walleye, sauger and saugeye; 10 fish
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • 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.
This eighty-nine mile stretch of river includes the headwaters west of Cresco in Howard County and ends above the dam in Clermont. In 2010, the Vernon Springs dam southwest of Cresco was modified to allow fish passage and improve dam safety. Trophy sized Northern Pike have been taken from the impoundment and nice size Walleye and Smallmouth Bass are frequently caught. Annual stocking of Northern Pike and Walleye are supporting these popular fisheries. Boats are a great way to get around the impoundment but canoes and kayaks are best below. Most fishing in the upper reaches takes place from Fort Atkinson upstream or from Eldorado downstream to the Clermont dam. Shore fishing is popular as this stream flows though several small towns.(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.