Pool 12, Mississippi River

General Information

County: Jackson
Location: Between Dubuque and Bellevue, Iowa
Acres: 12349.00
Maximum Depth:
Motoring Restrictions: In a few selected places no wake and no motor

Nearby Parks

Amenities

Amenities at Pool 12, Mississippi River include:
  • Boat Access
  • Fishing Jetty
  • Accessible Pier
  • Picnic Area
  • Beach
  • Trails
  • Accessible Facilities
  • Playground
  • Restrooms
  • Camping
  • Good/Excellent Shorefishing
  • Gravel Boat Ramp
  • Hard Surface Boat Ramp
  • Carry Down Boat Launch
  • Accessible Shoreline
  • Fish Cleaning Station
Lots of fishing reported this week and conditions for fishing on the river are good. Water levels are are slightly rising and water temps are in the mid to upper 60's throughout the district. If you have angling questions, please call the Bellevue Fisheries Management Station at 563-880-8781.
Water levels are currently 11.4 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and 13.5 feet at the RR bridge and clarity is good. Water levels are rising, and the temperature is around 65 degrees.
Sauger - Slow: Walleye and Sauger angling has started out slow in Pool 12 with most anglers using jig and minnow rigs. With warmer weather it is hoped they start moving in on the wingdams.
Yellow Perch - Good: Spring can be a good season to hit some tailwater yellow perch. Minnow heads and worms are the preferred bait. Keep worm short and straight on the hooks.
Northern Pike - Slow: Pike were reported frequently earlier this year but not much lately. Expect them to be on the feed and their populations are quite robust on the River.
White Crappie - Good: Crappie are being taken in Marina areas and backwaters. Use a minnow attached to small jig head. Fish are commonly in three feet of water or less.
Bluegill - Good: Check various harbors in Dubuque out for bluegills using a worm and bobber. Fish in 3 feet or less of water. Bobber and worm rigs work the best.
Channel Catfish - Good: Channel cats are just starting to bite and being picked up occasionally by bluegill anglers in the backwaters.
Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Lots of drum are taken in areas of moderate current using a egg sinker and worm rig. Keep fish on ice if plan on eating them and they can be very good table fare.
Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass of all sizes are being reported mostly from backwater areas on spinner baits and swim baits.
Smallmouth Bass - Good: Fish along rock lines with moderate current using a spinner or crankbait.
River is slightly high but the water has been fairly clear and lots of fishing opportunities are available. Water levels are are rising and water temps are in the the lower 60's throughout the district. If you have angling questions, please call the Bellevue Fisheries Management Station at 563-880-8781.
Water levels are currently 13.2 feet at the Dubuque Lock and Dam and 15.0 feet at the RR bridge and clarity is good. Water levels are rising, and the temperature is around 62 degrees. Water is approaching low action flood stage at the RR bridge.
Yellow Perch - Good: Spring can be a good season to hit some tailwater yellow perch. Minnow heads and worms are the preferred bait. Keep worm short and straight on the hooks.
Northern Pike - Good: Some nice pike are now being reported on spinner baits. Fish are located often along the newly established vegetation lines.
Sauger - Fair: Walleye and Sauger angling has started out slow in Pool 12 with most anglers using jig and minnow rigs. Angling seemed to improve this week and a few nice catches were reported.
White Crappie - Fair: Crappie are being taken in Marina areas and backwaters. Use a minnow attached to small jig head. Fish are commonly in three feet of water or less. Bite seemed to be tailing off.
Bluegill - Good: Check various harbors in Dubuque out for bluegills using a worm and bobber. Fish in 3 feet or less of water. Bobber and worm rigs work the best.
Channel Catfish - Good: Channel cats are just starting to bite and being picked up occasionally by bluegill anglers in the backwaters. Catfish spawning is just around the corner.
Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Lots of drum are taken in areas of moderate current using a egg sinker and worm rig. Keep fish on ice if plan on eating them and they can be very good table fare.
Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass of all sizes are being reported mostly from backwater areas on spinner baits and swim baits.
Smallmouth Bass - Good: Fish along rock lines with moderate current using a spinner or crankbait.
Flathead Catfish - Good: Banklines are starting to appear up and down the river. Most anglers are using live bullheads for bait.
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  • 05/01/2018 - 50,000 Walleye (Fry)
The Fishing Regulations brochure is available for download. The summaries listed below are a partial listing provided for your benefit.

  • Black Crappie
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined bluegill and pumpkinseed, 25 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined bluegill and pumpkinseed, 50 fish
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other: Associated chutes and backwaters of border rivers are included where intermittent or constant flow occur
  • Bluegill
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined bluegill and pumpkinseed, 25 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined bluegill and pumpkinseed, 50 fish
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other: Associated chutes and backwaters of border rivers are included where intermittent or constant flow occur
  • Channel Catfish
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: none
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • Flathead Catfish
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: none
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • Largemouth Bass
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined black bass, 5 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined black bass, 10 fish
    • Length Limit: 14-inch minimum
    • Other: Associated chutes and backwaters of border rivers are included where intermittent or constant flow occur
  • Northern Pike
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: 5 fish
    • Possession Limit: 10 fish
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • Sauger
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined walleye, sauger and saugeye; 6 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined walleye, sauger and saugeye; 12 fish
    • Length Limit: 15-inch minimum length limit; all walleye from 20 to 27-inches must be immediately released alive
    • Other: No more than one walleye longer than 27 inches may be taken per day on these pools
  • Smallmouth Bass
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined black bass, 5 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined black bass, 10 fish
    • Length Limit: 14-inch minimum
    • Other: Associated chutes and backwaters of border rivers are included where intermittent or constant flow occur
  • Walleye
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined walleye, sauger and saugeye; 6 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined walleye, sauger and saugeye; 12 fish
    • Length Limit: 15-inch minimum length limit; all walleye from 20 to 27-inches must be immediately released alive
    • Other: No more than one walleye longer than 27 inches may be taken per day on these pools
  • White Bass
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined yellow and white bass, 25 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined yellow and white bass, 50 fish
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other: Associated chutes and backwaters of the Mississippi River are included where intermittent or constant flow occur. In these areas, the daily bag and possession limit for the Mississippi River apply.
  • Yellow Perch
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: 25 fish
    • Possession Limit: 50 fish
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
Fishery is in good shape. Excellent spawn of yellow perch and walleye in 2015 bode well for the future. Lots of nice crappies up to 13 inches were caught in the fall. Northern pike numbers were very high and a substantial fishery for this species developed. Largemouth and smallmouth bass support excellent numbers and should provide a quality fishery for years to come. The Sunfish Lake habitat restoration project is complete and should provide quality angling well into the future. The next major restoration work with begin in Tippy's Lake and Stone Lake. (2016)
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Contacts

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.