Official State of Iowa Website Here is how you know
A man and women and two children putting two kayaks into the river


Paddle Iowa Waters. Catch Fish. Earn Prizes.

Explore more than 90 easy and safe paddling spots across Iowa this summer with the Hook n’ Paddle Passport. In-pass mapping makes it easy to find locations near you. Some check-in locations offer kayak/canoe rentals.

Get your passport and start collecting points. Each check-in from May 1 - Aug. 31, 2023 rewards you with 100 points. Keep building points to redeem for prizes. Redeem your points once you’ve reached your desired point total.

Complete Prize Rules - Participants must be 18 or older
  • 300 points - Fish Iowa! water bottle or Fish Iowa! hat
  • 300 points - one entry into a grand prize sweepstake drawing with a chance to win a grand prize of a kayak, paddle, life jacket and dry bag
  • 600 points - dry bag or stocked mini tackle box
  • 1000 points - Zebco triggerspin telescoping rod or Zebco 33 spincast dock combo [42-inch rod]

Earn 200 points for attending a sponsored paddling and/or fishing event. Find dates, locations and registration information on the DNR webpage at

The more locations along the passport you visit, the more prizes you’ll unlock. Hit the learn more button for the full list of check-in locations. Have fun exploring!


Tips for a Fun, Safe Kayak Fishing Adventure

Fishing from a kayak is an active way to get close with nature. Kayaks are small, quiet and more maneuverable than any other boat. Plus, you can get close to shore where other boaters rely on less accurate, long distance casting.

  • Be a confident paddler. Learn basic paddling strokes and how to self-rescue. Hands-on instruction and online paddling safety courses are available.
  • Leave your packed tackle box home. Bring only basic tackle for the specific fish species you are trying to catch.
  • Check water levels and weather conditions. Never paddle when lightning is in the area. 
  • Be safe. Fish with a buddy and let someone know where you're going. Wear a properly-fitted life jacket and bring a first aid kit. Carry a cell phone in a watertight dry-bag for emergencies.
  • Tie down your paddle, tackle box and other fishing necessities to avoid losing them.
  • Bring plenty of water. Wear light, loose fitting clothing that dries quickly. Wear a hat, sunglasses and plenty of sunscreen.
  • Stay well downstream and upstream of low-head dams. Use caution fishing around wood debris (strainers) on outside bends of streams and rivers. Be careful paddling around obstructions such as snags, log jams, submerged logs and other debris.

Clean. Drain. Dry

You can help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species by following these easy steps everytime you explore Iowa waters.

  • CLEAN: When you get your kayak out of the water, inspect it to make sure there are no plants, mud or debris on or in it, the paddles, and any equipment or trailer. If you find anything, remove it and dispose of it in the trash or on dry land away from water before moving to a new location.
  • DRAIN: Make sure there is no standing water in your kayak. Tip it upside down to make sure there isn’t any water in the bottom. Make sure your bait buckets and internal compartments are clean and dry as well. 
  • DRY: Use a rag or towel to dry your vessel including all compartments, livewells, and bait buckets, as well as your anchor (if applicable). If possible, dry everything for five or more days. Most aquatic invasive species can only survive in wet conditions, so this is one of the best ways to help prevent their spread.
  • Explore our beautiful fishing and paddling locations
  • Mobile exclusive
  • Instantly delivered via text and email
  • No apps to download
  • Collect points for check-ins and attending sponsored events (May 1 - Aug. 31, 2023)
  • Win prizes along the way!
  • Free to sign up
Learn More

See You at the Iowa State Fair!

iowa state fair tshirt and magazine, order now

The DNR building at the Iowa State Fair is one of the more than 90 passport check-in locations. Check-in on your passport August 10-20 and earn 100 points.

Look for posters on the corner of the fish aquarium and throughout the DNR building to get the event code to complete your check-in.

Attend an Event

Attend a paddling and/or fishing event to help you build a social support community and feel more comfortable fishing and paddling.


Buy Your License Online

Anyone 16 years and older must have a fishing license to fish Iowa waters.

Yearly, seven-day, or 24-hour fishing licenses are available.



The Hook and Paddle Passport prizes are provided by Bass Pro and Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation.

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