Fishing in Iowa
Northern Pike, photo submitted by M. Laake


The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is dedicated to creating excellent fishing opportunities and a healthy aquatic environment through research, habitat improvements, and prevention of exotic species in Iowa’s waters.

Grab your tackle box, call a friend or take the family, and get your lines in the water!


Buy Your Fishing Licenses Online


Iowa ponds
Some of the best fishing in Iowa happens on privately owned ponds. Learn tips and techniques to manage your Iowa pond

Fighting Invasive Species
Invasive aquatic species like zebra mussels and Eurasion watermilfoil are one of the greatest threats to Iowa fish. Find out how you can help prevent the spread of invasive species.

Fisheries Research
Research is the backbone of Iowa’s fisheries work. Learn how fisheries research projects help create better fishing for more Iowans in more places.

Habitat and Lake Projects
Good fishing starts with improving habitat and water quality. Learn about dozens of projects the DNR implements each year on Iowa lakes and rivers.

Lake Restoration Program
Millions of dollars are invested to improve Iowa’s major lakes through shoreline improvements, dredging, watershed work and much more.


Eating Iowa-caught fish is SAFE!
Most of Iowa’s streams, rivers and lakes offer safe and high-quality fish that pose little or no threat to human health if eaten. Over 4.5 million meals of Iowa fish were eaten in 2017. Some limitations of eating fish may apply for young children and pregnant women. Find out more with this Fish Consumption Fact Sheet from the Iowa DNR and the Iowa Dept. of Public Health. 

Find the most up to date list of consumption advisories at www.iowadnr.gov/Environmental-Protection/Water-Quality/Water-Monitoring/Fish-Tissue. New advisories are issued and existing advisories are removed, based on results of annual fish contaminant monitoring in Iowa.