Official State of Iowa Website Here is how you know

Interior Rivers

Maquoketa River (above Monticello)

General Information

Location: Access points begin below the dam at Backbone State Park.
Length in miles: 68.00
Motoring Restrictions: None

Nearby Parks


Amenities at Maquoketa River (above Monticello) include:
  • Boat Access
  • Boat Rental
  • Picnic Area
  • Trails
  • Playground
  • Restrooms
  • Camping
  • Good/Excellent Shorefishing
  • Gravel Boat Ramp
  • Hard Surface Boat Ramp
  • Carry Down Boat Launch
Angling has been fair on the interior rivers with the up and down weather pattern. There have been no reports on the surrounding area lakes. Trout streams remain in excellent condition and the stocking is fully underway. For further information contact your local bait shops for the most recent information.
There have been a few reports on the Maquoketa River of walleye and black crappie being caught. Try fishing below the Lake Delhi Dam as well for walleye and crappie.
Walleye - Fair: Anglers do best when casting and retrieving lead head jigs tipped with plastics and a minnow.
Black Crappie - Fair: Locate woody structure on the river around Manchester. Try vertical jigging a lead head jig tipped with a colored tube jig for some crappie.
Download Printable River Map

  • 6/3/22 - 6,496 Walleye (1.8)
  • May 2021 - 20,998 Walleye (1.38)
  • 05/12/2021 - 3,825 Northern Pike (3)
  • June 2020 - 22,736 Walleye (1.5)
  • spring 2019 - 20,060 Walleye (1.9)
  • May 2019 - 4,002 Northern Pike (2)
  • 06/06/2018 - 4,030 Northern Pike (2.9)
  • 06/06/2018 - 5,795 Walleye (1.39)
  • 06/06/2018 - 5,856 Walleye (1.85)
  • 06/06/2018 - 7,509 Walleye (1.39)
  • 6/1/2017 - 8,002 Walleye (1.6")
  • 5/24/2017 - 2,000 Walleye (1.5")
  • 5/23/2017 - 4,015 Northern Pike (2.5")
  • spring 2016 - 6,605 Northern Pike (2.2")
  • 6/8/16 - 5,662 Walleye (1.6")
  • 6/8/16 - 13,375 Walleye (1.8")
  • 5/26/16 - 6,018 Walleye (Fingerling)
  • 06/04/2015 - 5,562 Walleye (1.6")
  • 06/02/2015 - 6,811 Walleye (1.8")
  • 06/02/2015 - 8,029 Walleye (1.8")
  • 05/29/2015 - 3,336 Walleye (2")
  • 05/19/2015 - 4,000 Northern Pike (2.9")
  • 06/05/2014 - 4,047 Northern Pike (2-3")
  • 06/05/2014 - 14,521 Walleye (2")
  • 05/28/2014 - 24,000 Walleye (2")
    No known aquatic invasive species have been found
The Fishing Regulations brochure is available for download. The summaries listed below are a partial listing provided for your benefit.

  • Channel Catfish
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined: channel, blue and flathead catfish, 15 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined: channel, blue and flathead catfish, 30 fish
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • Northern Pike
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: 3 fish
    • Possession Limit: 6 fish
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • Rock Bass
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: none
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • Smallmouth Bass
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined black bass, 3 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined black bass, 6 fish
    • Length Limit: 12-inch minimum
    • Other: There is a catch and release only regulation on a portion of this river in Delaware County. The catch and release regulation is in effect from below Lake Delhi Dam and extends downstream to the first county gravel road bridge
  • Walleye
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined walleye, sauger and saugeye; 5 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined walleye, sauger and saugeye; 10 fish
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
The Maquoketa River offers great paddling and angling opportunities throughout this 70-mile stretch. Very good smallmouth bass fishing occurs in many areas of this river with all the suitable rocky habitat. Concentrate efforts near these areas in which "smallmouth " love. There is a Catch & Release Area for all bass in Delaware County extending downstream for four and a half miles from below Lake Delhi Dam as posted to the first county gravel road bridge, Pioneer Road. A strong population of channel catfish and walleye from Manchester downstream will provide great fishing opportunities for anglers of all ages. This stretch of river is most accessible by kayak or canoe as the river is fairly wide and shallow in places. Ten access points, mostly carry-down, provide paddlers and anglers many options throughout this scenic area of river. Stop and visit the newly constructed/dam removal project, "Manchester Whitewater Park," a must see for all outdoor enthusiasts. Voyage a ride through the six drop structures or enjoy the view from the beautiful landscaped park. Fish habitat and passage were also designed into the new park to add exceptional habitat for smallmouth bass and walleye. A hard surface boat ramp at Bailey's Ford County Park, Delaware County, provides boat angler access to a popular overwinter staging area for walleye. Kayak and canoe rentals are available in Manchester. Check the local directory for phone numbers and rental availability.(2020)
Tip: Click the arrow in the lower right corner to view the Fish Survey Data tool in full-screen mode.


Water Quality

Iowa-Caught Fish Are Safe to Eat, In Almost All Cases

The vast majority of Iowa’s streams, rivers and lakes offer safe and high-quality fish that pose little or no threat to human health if consumed. Some limitations may apply for young children and pregnant women. Here’s a Fish Consumption Fact Sheet from the Iowa DNR and the Iowa Dept. of Public Health for more information. Here is a list of current fish consumption advisories for Iowa lakes and rivers.

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