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Stream Details

South Bear Creek

General Information

County: Winneshiek
Location: Located at Highlandville.
Stream Segment Length: 5.20

Amenities

Amenities at South Bear Creek include:
  • Camping
  • Good/Excellent Shorefishing
Brook Trout - Good: Excellent hatches of blue-winged olives, caddis flies, midges, and stoneflies. On sunny days, fish these hatches. Eleven streams have naturally reproducing populations with public access. Go to https://www.iowadnr.gov/Fishing/Trout-Fishing to find out where.
Brown Trout - Good: Off color water from rainfall events will spur a brownie bite. Fish weed edges, ledges, and heads of pools using pheasant tail nymphs with a small midge or scud dropper.
Rainbow Trout - Excellent: With clear water, best fishing on cloudy days. Use light weight spinning rod and reels for some fun action. Use a small hook or light jig head with cheese, worms, or plastic tail.
Trout streams are low with excellent clarity. Catchable trout stream stocking in full swing. Streams are stocked each week but will be unannounced again this year due to COVID 19 precautions. No calendar will be available. Hatchery grounds are open. Please observe current social distancing and mask rules when visiting. Fourth season turkey hunting is open ending May 16. Remember to wear bright clothing when fishing.

South Bear is stocked weekly April through October with catchable 10-12 inch brook and rainbow trout and is an unannounced stocking. This fishery contains stream-reared French Creek strain brown trout maintained through an annual stocking of fingerling fish. Sampling data from 2009 showed 872 brown trout per mile with fish up to 16 inches collected. This is not an estimated population and actual trout numbers will be higher. Please be aware that segments of the stream are on private property where only angling is permitted. Primitive camping is allowed on the state owned South Bear Wildlife Management Area. Developed camping and general store are available at a private campground.(2012)

Download Printable Stream Map

Parking Access
Catchable Trout Waters
Fingerling Stocked or Natural Reproduction
Restrictive Regulation Stream

You can zoom the map in and out using the slider on the left hand side, and you can pan the map by clicking and dragging. Rollover features for more information. Click streams to go to their page.

  • August 2019 - 1,320 Brook Trout (10.8)
  • annual 2019 - 12,198 Rainbow Trout (10.8)
  • annual 2018 - 609 Brook Trout (2-3/lb)
  • annual 2018 - 12,283 Rainbow Trout (2-3/lb)
  • annual 2017 - 3,236 Brook Trout (2-3/lb)
  • annual 2017 - 10,352 Rainbow Trout (2-3/lb)
  • annual 2016 - 1,428 Brook Trout (2-3/lb)
  • annual 2016 - 12,272 Rainbow Trout (2-3/lb)
  • 6/6/16 - 5,250 Brown Trout (4")
  • annual 2015 - 1,906 Brook Trout (2-3/lb)
  • annual 2015 - 11,528 Rainbow Trout (2-3/lb)
  • 06/09/2015 - 7,500 Brown Trout (4")
  • 05/13/2015 - 2,000 Brown Trout (4")
  • annual 2014 - 2,622 Brook Trout (2-3/lb)
  • annual 2014 - 10,217 Rainbow Trout (2-3/lb)
  • 06/02/2014 - 3,350 Brown Trout (2")
  • annual 2013 - 2,576 Brook Trout (2-3/lb)
  • annual 2013 - 10,184 Rainbow Trout (2-3/lb)
  • annual 2012 - 1,702 Brook Trout (2-3/lb)
  • annual 2012 - 11,770 Rainbow Trout (2-3/lb)
  • 05/07/2012 - 5,000 Brown Trout (2.1")
  • annual 2011 - 1,123 Brook Trout (2-3/lb)
  • annual 2011 - 12,338 Rainbow Trout (2-3/lb)
  • 05/16/2011 - 4,610 Brown Trout (2.0")
The Fishing Regulations brochure is available for download. The summaries listed below are a partial listing provided for your benefit.

  • Brown Trout
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined trout (brook, brown, and rainbow) - 5 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined trout (brook, brown, and rainbow) - 10 fish
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other: Anglers must have paid the Trout Fee to fish for or possess trout
  • Rainbow Trout
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: combined trout (brook, brown, and rainbow) - 5 fish
    • Possession Limit: combined trout (brook, brown, and rainbow) - 10 fish
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other: Anglers must have paid the Trout Fee to fish for or possess trout
  • White Sucker
    • Season: Continuous
    • Daily Bag Limit: none
    • Possession Limit: unlimited
    • Length Limit: none
    • Other: May be taken by hand fishing, by snagging, by spear or by bow and arrow, day or night.
Tip: Click the arrow in the lower right corner to view the Fish Survey Data tool in full-screen mode.

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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