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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 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 in excellent condition and the month of November can provide some excellent angling opportunities. Trout streams remain in excellent condition, for further information contact the N.E. District Office at 563-927-3276. All three trout hatcheries remain closed at this time and please call ahead to set up any appointments you may need.
Northern Pike - Good: Larger spinner baits have been working well on the Upper Wapsipinicon River.
Reports have been good for walleye on the Wapsipinicon River, concentrate on the deeper overwintering holes. Pike have been biting really well on portions of the Upper Wapsi.
Walleye - Good: Try casting and retrieving large running crankbaits for active fish. Jig and plastics tipped with or without live bait has been very productive.
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")
  • 06/16/2010 - 12,458 Walleye (1.6")
  • 05/25/2010 - 4,000 Walleye (1.3:)
  • 05/25/2010 - 6,000 Walleye (1.3")
  • 05/25/2010 - 30,000 Walleye (1.3")
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 2014 DNR fisheries survey, staff measured and weighed over 280 smallmouth bass from the Three Elms Access located just downstream of Independence to the Old Iron Bridge boat ramp located several miles upstream of the small town of Quasqueton. For additional information on access points click on the above tab "River Maps" for a downloadable pdf map.(2017)


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.