Big Creek Lake
2 miles north of Polk City
No Size Limit at No Wake
Amenities at Big Creek Lake include:
- Boat Access
- Fishing Jetty
- Accessible Pier
- Boat Rental
- Picnic Area
- Accessible Facilities
- Good/Excellent Shorefishing
- Hard Surface Boat Ramp
Big Creek is known for its healthy bluegill population. 2012 sampling revealed bluegills from 3 to 9 inches with the average being about 8 inches. Crappies, both black and white, are present in fair enough numbers for anglers to expect to catch fish, but not at densities that will draw anglers to Big Creek for crappie. A strong year class of crappie has not occurred in several years in Big Creek. Black crappie sampled in 2012 were 7 to 9.5 inches and white crappie were 7.5 to 10.5 inches. Channel catfish are very abundant and were sampled in sizes from 11 to 26 inches. The best catfishing during the summer months is in the northern third of the lake. The largemouth bass population is in good condition. Bass were sampled from 9.5 to 18.5 inches with good numbers in the 9.5 to 13 inch range. Although still a small population, smallmouth bass numbers sampled increased. Smallmouth bass are present at sizes between 9 and 15 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 from observed angler catches. Walleyes in Big Creek continue to frustrate most anglers targeting them as it is challenging to catch a fish over the 15 inch minimum length limit. Two studies currently under way focusing on amount of angler harvest and alternative stocking strategies are aimed at eventually improving angler success for walleyes. Good year classes were established in both 2011 and 2012. These fish should move above the 15 inch minimum length limit during 2014 through 2016. Anglers should also be aware to check any walleye over 15 inches for a tag near their tail. Follow the instructions on the signs posted at the boat ramps to return these tags for a cash reward. The adult muskie population is currently very small. Muskie will continue 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.(2012)
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 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.
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.