Learn to Hunt
Report Your Harvest
Current Fishing Report
Taking Kids Fishing
Iowa's natural resources plates include the state bird and flower, pheasant, eagle, buck and a Brook trout. Support conservation in Iowa by buying a natural resource plate for your vehicle.
Natural Resource Plates
Experience Iowa's natural beauty and all the fun our state parks offer. Make your online reservation for state park cabins, camping sites, shelters and lodges.
Support conservation in Iowa by buying a natural resource plate for your vehicle.
Natural Resource Plates
Iowa DNR Customer Service
Mon - Fri, 8:00am - 4:30pm CST
Submit Online Inquiry
Information / Records Requests
Contact Information by County
A very slender, moderate-sized darter reaching about 2 1/2-inches long. It is bright green with dark brown blotches and small red spots on the sides, belly fading to yellow or gold and white, dorsal fin rays 9 to 11, 7 anal rays, about 60 scales along the lateral line, which is incomplete. The cheeks, opercles and nape are scaled and the breast is naked.
Most abundant in the natural lakes in Iowa, but can be found in rivers and streams in northern Iowa, as well as the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.
Midge larvae, mayfly larvae, and amphipods
State Records are not documented for non-game species.
The Iowa Darter lives in clear, sluggishly vegetated streams and weedy areas of glacial lakes, marshes and ponds. Forest clearing and drainage practices have reduced its habitat and warmed the remaining waters enough to eliminate this species in the southern part of its range. In the United States, it is now common only in non-agricultural areas.
Spawning occurs in sandy areas or beneath stream banks in April and May. During the actual spawning act, the male places its pelvic fins over the dorsal fin of the female and his caudal peduncle wraps around to meet hers. Only a few eggs are laid in each spawning sequence.
Recent stream sampling information is available from Iowa DNR's biological monitoring and assessment program.
Harlan, J.R., E.B. Speaker, and J. Mayhew. 1987. Iowa fish and fishing. Iowa Conservation Commission, Des Moines, Iowa. 323pp.
Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Wildlife Action Plan
Loan-Wilsey, A. K., C. L. Pierce, K. L. Kane, P. D. Brown and R. L. McNeely. 2005. The Iowa Aquatic Gap Analysis Project Final Report. Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Iowa State University, Ames.
Photo credit: photo courtesy of Joseph Tomelleri, copyright Joseph Tomelleri.