Hook an Angler (Iowa Outdoors, Spring 2019)


Each year DNR staff set records in fisheries management like stocking 165 million fish last year, besting the previous record by 9 million! Lakes, fish habitat and angler access keep improving, too. Yet no matter how spectacular the resources and amenities, about a third of license buyers don’t renew their licenses the next year.

The good news? Research shows these inconsistent license buyers will fish again if invited! Eighty-four percent will fish if invited by a child, friend, family member, co-worker or neighbor...

Find out more, for the entire article:
Hook An Angler, Iowa Spring Fishing Forecast 2019

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Many opportunities for fishing in Iowa!

Getting outdoors and fishing is a little different for everyone. Iowa’s many waterways are the perfect backdrop to ponder life’s biggest questions, or ignore them completely, all while reeling in a few keepers.

Start exploring all that Iowa has to offer on this page, with links to lake, river and stream information that you need to have a great day on the water.

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Lakes, Ponds and Reservoirs
Many of Iowa’s thousands of lakes and ponds number are stocked and managed by the Iowa DNR, offering abundant fishing, especially of panfish like crappie and bluegill. Several lakes are fishing destinations for muskie, northern pike and walleye.

Interior Rivers
Head to one of Iowa’s rivers or streams to catch a dozen or more different species, including prized-size catfish, walleye and smallmouth bass in one trip. Iowa’s interior rivers are known for growing large-sized fish, and lots of them.

Trout Streams
Northeast Iowa is a regional destination for exceptional trout fishing. Find both stocked and naturally occurring trout in the breathtaking forests and streams of this part of the state.

Mississippi River

Iowa’s eastern border river is nationally known for backwater fishing for bass, catfish, panfish, pike and walleye. It is the best fishery in Iowa for abundance and diversity of fish species. Dozens of access points are available for boaters and anglers.

Missouri River
On the western border, the Missouri River offers excellent fishing for catfish and sauger. The southern part of the river is one of the only places in Iowa to catch blue catfish.