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Help Iowa DNR expand walleye collection data

  • 3/12/2024 11:46:00 AM
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The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is partnering for a third year with MyCatch by Angler’s Atlas to conduct a statewide walleye fishing challenge from March 30 through June 30.

The MyCatch mobile app maintains anonymous location data, so anglers’ secret spots stay secret. Iowa DNR fisheries biologists receive only generalized lake and river catch data entered to assess and manage walleye populations. Specific catch locations from anglers are not listed on public leaderboards. 

This year’s walleye challenge has been expanded to other states across the Midwest and into Canada as part of a larger fisheries research project funded by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. 

Iowa anglers compete only against other Iowa anglers for biweekly prizes, while all catches from across the Midwest qualify for the grand prize drawings at the end of the event. Grand prizes for 2024 include a week-long fishing trip to Lac Seul Evergreen Lodge in Canada, as well as equipment from companies such as St. Croix Rods.

Anglers can register for the Midwest Walleye Challenge at New this year, participants can choose the free entry option to qualify for non-cash prizes or pay the $25 fee to qualify for all prizes including cash payouts.

"The data we collected the last two years is very informative and valuable, both where anglers are reporting catches and systems that do not seem to have the walleye fishing pressure we expected,” said Jeff Kopaska, DNR fisheries research biometrician. “We encourage anglers to participate in this challenge to help us align future management decisions, such as stocking priorities with angler desires and expectations."

Learn about the data collected the first two years of the walleye challenge and new incentives for this year’s challenge online with the DNR YouTube video.