Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)

General Information

County: Buchanan
Location: Most angling occurs below Sweet Marsh Reservoir or Highway 3 and south to Troy Mills.
Acres: 73.00
Maximum Depth:
Motoring Restrictions: None

Nearby Parks

Cedar Rock


Amenities at Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills) include:
  • Boat Access
  • Picnic Area
  • Restrooms
  • Camping
  • Good/Excellent Shorefishing
  • Gravel Boat Ramp
  • Hard Surface Boat Ramp
  • Carry Down Boat Launch
Fishing reports are those of the typical late summer lulls but anglers are catching some fish yet on the interior rivers. There are reports of anglers catching smallmouth bass, walleye and northern pike. Best rports have been northern pike on the Wapsipinicon River. Trout streams remain in excellent condition, for further information contact the N.E. District Office @ 563-927-3276.
There have been few reports on the Wapsipinicon River this past week but anglers have had best success in fishing for northern pike.
Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Target rip-rap shorelines and woody structure casting artificial baits such as spinnerbaits or crankbaits for smallmouth bass.
Walleye - Fair: A jig and plastic tail tipped with half a nightcrawler is productive for walleye this time of year. Concentrate on the downstream sandbar dropoffs or woody structure as the river is low.
Northern Pike - Good: Try casting and retrieving large bucktail spinner baits near structure or floating a live chub or shiner under a bobber in the deeper pools.
Download Printable Lake Map
Download Printable Fishing Structures Map

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

  • 6/8/16 - 7,505 Walleye (1.8")
  • 6/8/16 - 10,932 Walleye (1.8")
  • 5/26/16 - 40,002 Walleye (Fingerling)
  • 07/01/2015 - 5,043 Walleye (3.5")
  • 06/04/2015 - 5,787 Walleye (1.6")
  • 06/02/2015 - 5,081 Walleye (1.8")
  • 06/01/2015 - 6,860 Walleye (1.7")
  • 05/29/2015 - 8,773 Walleye (2")
  • 06/05/2014 - 14,521 Walleye (2")
  • 05/29/2014 - 51,500 Walleye (2")
  • 06/21/2013 - 9,932 Walleye (1.5")
  • 05/18/2012 - 50,540 Walleye (1.2")
  • 05/31/2011 - 5,000 Walleye (1.4")
  • 05/31/2011 - 10,000 Walleye (1.4")
  • 05/31/2011 - 36,000 Walleye (1.4")
  • 06/16/2010 - 12,458 Walleye (1.6")
  • 05/25/2010 - 4,000 Walleye (1.3:)
  • 05/25/2010 - 6,000 Walleye (1.3")
  • 05/25/2010 - 30,000 Walleye (1.3")
  • 05/28/2009 - 5,000 Walleye (1.3")
  • 05/28/2009 - 10,000 Walleye (1.3")
  • 05/28/2009 - 47,200 Walleye (1.3")
  • 06/06/2008 - 3,650 Walleye (1.5")
  • 06/06/2008 - 26,280 Walleye (1.5")
  • 05/24/2007 - 36,000 Walleye (1.3")
  • 05/23/2007 - 5,300 Walleye (1.4")
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:
  • Channel Catfish
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined: channel, blue and flathead catfish, 15 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: 12-inch minimum
    • Other:
  • Northern Pike
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: 3 fish
    • Possession Limit: 6 fish
    • 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:
Many anglers consider the Wapsipinicon River to be one of the best all-around interior rivers in Iowa. This scenic seventy three mile stretch of river expanding through Bremer, Black Hawk and Buchanan Counties offers fabulous angling opportunities for a variety of gamefish. Natural reproducing populations of smallmouth bass, northern pike and channel catfish thrive in this river along with a healthy walleye population that is maintained through walleye stockings. Navigation from Tripoli downstream to the small community of Littleton is primarily by canoe or kayak. Ten public access points located along this section of river provide anglers access to an excellent northern pike fishery with fair populations of smallmouth bass, walleye and channel catfish for the taking. Navigation from Littleton downstream to Independence is primarily by canoe, kayak or small jonboat. The hard surface Otterville bridge access provides a takeout point for river users navigating downstream from Littleton or a launching point for users wanting to paddle through the impoundment above Independence. Smallmouth bass, walleye and channel catfish become much more prevalent throughout this section of the Wapsipinicon River. The river begins to widen and deepen downstream of Independence and jonboats become more common. There are six hard surface boat ramps and six public walk-in areas from the dam in Independence downstream to the town of Troy Mills. This stretch of river offers fabulous angling opportunities for northern pike, walleye, smallmouth bass and channel catfish. In a 2014 DNR fisheries survey, staff measured and weighed over two hundred and eighty smallmouth bass from the Three Elms Access located just downstream of Independence to the Old Iron Bridge boat ramp located several miles upstream of the small town of Quasqueton. It's no wonder why so many anglers regard this stretch of the Wapsipinicon River as a true gem! For additional information on access points click on the above tab "River Maps" for a downloadable pdf map.(2016)


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

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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.