The popular trout stream stocking season starts April 2. By Saturday, April 7, every stocked stream will have received at least one stocking of 10-12 inch trout.
“There are all kinds of opportunities to catch trout,” said Dan Rosauer, Manchester Trout Hatchery Manager. “Go fishing and have fun!”
The DNR Trout Program offers Iowa anglers a variety of trout fishing opportunities, including announced catchable stockings, unannounced catchable stockings, fingerling stockings, wild populations, streams with restrictive regulations, easy universal access areas and remote streams with difficult access.
Trout have excellent vision, so keep your line light (6-pound test or less) and your hook small. In the wild, trout eat minnows, worms, insects, insect larvae and fish eggs. Artificial flies imitating recent insect hatches are good for fly fishers; but, anglers of all abilities can catch trout on a variety of baits including a chunk of worm, salmon eggs, sweet corn or cheese baits on a small hook. Whatever gear you choose, toss your artificial lure or bait upstream and let the current carry it downstream to entice the wary trout.
Iowa’s three trout hatcheries produce and stock about 310,000 catchable-sized rainbow or brook trout and 110,000 fingerling brown trout into hundreds of miles of northeast Iowa streams April through October. Find a list of stocked streams on the DNR trout map or trout stream webpage.
Funding to support the trout stocking program comes from the sale of fishing licenses and trout fees. Anglers must have a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Last year, 43,324 Iowans and 5,336 nonresidents fished for trout. The daily limit is five trout per licensed angler with a possession limit of 10.
Iowa’s trout streams, open year-round, meander through some of the most scenic areas of the state. “Whether you are an experienced fly fisherman or you picked up your gear at a local discount store, a day spent on a trout stream is a good day,” Rosauer said.