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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

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

Fishing Report

Good fall crappie fishing is occurring in central Iowa lakes. Water temps are in the low 50's. For information on central Iowa lakes and rivers contact Andy Otting or Ben Dodd at 515-432-2823.
Walleye - Fair: Decent walleye fishing can be had drifting spinner rigs or trolling crankbaits near the 15 foot contour on the upper half of the lake.
Crappie - Fair: Some crappie are being caught on brushpiles in 10 to 15 foot of water near the entrances to the coves on the west side of the lake.

Fishing Forecast

Big Creek has a quality bluegill fishery. 2013 sampling showed bluegills from 3 to just over 9 inches. Both black and white crappies are present in fishable numbers, but their abundance is not currently high. Black crappie sampled in 2013 were 8 to 11 inches and white crappie were 8.5 to 10.5 inches. The white bass population was knocked back in 2013. The extent of this die-off will be more known after 2014 surveys. A reduction in white bass numbers may be beneficial to the crappie in Big Creek. Channel catfish were not targeted in 2013 surveys, but an abundant population is present with all sizes from 10 to 30 inches. The largemouth bass population is in good condition. Bass were sampled from 9 to 20.5 inches. There is a small population of smallmouth bass present with sizes between 9 and 14 inches. The smallmouth are most often sampled and caught by anglers along the dam face and in the canal. A small population of yellow perch also exists with some fish reaching good sizes over 9 inches. Due to changes in stocking strategy walleye numbers are on the rise. There is a good sized year class that should start to go over the 15 inch minimum length limit during 2014. The adult muskie population is currently very small. Muskie are continuing to be stocked. A fish barrier was placed at the spillway to decrease the numbers of adult muskie and walleye leaving the lake. An improvement in muskie numbers should be noticed by 2015.(2013)


Lake Maps

Download Printable Lake Map
Download Printable Fishing Structures Map

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

Popular Fish Species at this Lake

Fish Stocking

  • 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")
  • 10/19/2005 - 3,003 Walleye (9.9")
  • 10/07/2005 - 4,001 Channel Catfish (7")
  • 10/22/2004 - 5,199 Channel Catfish (6")

Regulations

The Fishing Regulations brochure is available for download. The summaries listed below are a partial listing provided for your benefit.

  • Black 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
  • 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:
  • 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.

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.

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