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Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)

General Information

County: Buchanan
Location: Most angling occurs below Sweet Marsh Reservoir or Highway 3 and south to Troy Mills.
Acres: 73.00
Maximum Depth:
Motoring Restrictions: None

Nearby Parks

Cedar Rock

Amenities

Amenities at Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills) include:
  • Boat Access
  • Picnic Area
  • Restrooms
  • Camping
  • Good/Excellent Shorefishing
  • Gravel Boat Ramp
  • Hard Surface Boat Ramp
  • Carry Down Boat Launch
Interior rivers are low and providing some fair to good angling opportunities for smallmouth bass, walleye and crappie. Rivers should be in good condition for the upcoming weekend. Lakes are beginning to produce some crappie. Trout streams are in excellent condition and providing some insect hatches with the warmer weather. For further information contact your area bait and tackle shops. All field stations and fish hatcheries remain closed at this time, for further information contact the N.E. D
Northern Pike - Good: Try casting and retrieving large spinnerbaits or fishing a live shiner or chub under a bobber near off channel areas.
There have been reports of anglers catching northern pike on the Upper Wapsi. The river continues to drop and should provide some fair to good angling opportunities for the upcoming weekend.
Walleye - No Report: Cast and retrieve jig and plastics tipped with or without a minnow. Concentrate on pools and current breaks for some walleye action.
Download Printable Lake Map
Download Printable Fishing Structures Map

You can zoom in on the map for bathymetric information for some lakes

  • 05/29/2019 - 50,559 Walleye (1.5)
  • 06/06/2018 - 7,389 Walleye (1.39)
  • 06/06/2018 - 7,448 Walleye (1.78)
  • 06/01/2018 - 13,664 Walleye (1.7)
  • 6/1/2017 - 7,495 Walleye (1.6")
  • 5/24/2017 - 38,000 Walleye (1.5")
  • 6/8/16 - 7,505 Walleye (1.8")
  • 6/8/16 - 10,932 Walleye (1.8")
  • 5/26/16 - 40,002 Walleye (Fingerling)
  • 07/01/2015 - 5,043 Walleye (3.5")
  • 06/04/2015 - 5,787 Walleye (1.6")
  • 06/02/2015 - 5,081 Walleye (1.8")
  • 06/01/2015 - 6,860 Walleye (1.7")
  • 05/29/2015 - 8,773 Walleye (2")
  • 06/05/2014 - 14,521 Walleye (2")
  • 05/29/2014 - 51,500 Walleye (2")
  • 06/21/2013 - 9,932 Walleye (1.5")
  • 05/18/2012 - 50,540 Walleye (1.2")
  • 05/31/2011 - 5,000 Walleye (1.4")
  • 05/31/2011 - 10,000 Walleye (1.4")
  • 05/31/2011 - 36,000 Walleye (1.4")
The Fishing Regulations brochure is available for download. The summaries listed below are a partial listing provided for your benefit.

  • Bluegill
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: 25 fish
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other:
  • 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:
  • Largemouth Bass
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined black bass, 3 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined black bass, 6 fish
    • Length Limit: 12-inch minimum
    • Other:
  • Northern Pike
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: 3 fish
    • Possession Limit: 6 fish
    • 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:
  • 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:
Many anglers consider the Wapsipinicon River one of the best all-around interior rivers in Iowa. This scenic 73-mile stretch of river, expanding through Bremer, Black Hawk and Buchanan Counties, offers great angling opportunities for a variety of game fish. Natural reproducing populations of smallmouth bass, northern pike and channel catfish thrive in this river along with a healthy walleye population maintained through walleye stockings. Navigation from Tripoli downstream to the small community of Littleton is mostly by canoe or kayak. Ten public access points along this section of river provide anglers access to an excellent northern pike fishery with fair populations of smallmouth bass, walleye and channel catfish. Navigation from Littleton downstream to Independence is mainly by canoe, kayak or small jon boat. The hard surface Otterville bridge access provides a takeout point for river users navigating downstream from Littleton or a launching point for those wanting to paddle through the impoundment above Independence. Smallmouth bass, walleye and channel catfish become much more prevalent throughout this section of the Wapsipinicon River. The river starts to widen and deepen downstream of Independence and jon boats become more common. There are six hard surface boat ramps and six public walk-in areas from the dam in Independence downstream to Troy Mills. This stretch of river offers fabulous angling opportunities for northern pike, walleye, smallmouth bass and channel catfish. In a 2020 DNR fisheries survey above the Otterville Access, staff measured and weighed thirty five walleyes. Forty six percent of these walleyes were of fifteen inches and longer. The largest walleye measured in at 28.6 inches and weighed 9.5 pounds. Numerous quality sized smallmouth bass, northern pike and channel catfish were included in this survey also. For additional information on access points click on the above tab "River Maps" for a downloadable pdf map.(2020)
Tip: Click the arrow in the lower right corner to view the Fish Survey Data tool in full-screen mode.

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.