Interior Rivers

Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)

General Information

Location: Most angling occurs below Sweet Marsh Reservoir or Highway 3 and south to Troy Mills.
Length in miles: 73.00
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 in good condition and there have been fair to good reports on walleye fishing. Opening shotgun deer season this weekend, wear orange if at all possible if on the rivers. All trout streams remain in excellent condition. For further information contact the N.E. District Office at 563-927-3276.
There have been no reports of walleye being caught on the Wapsipinicon River in Buchanan County this past week but reports had been good a couple weeks ago.
Walleye - Fair: Try casting and retrieving or trolling crankbaits or using jig and minnow near instream habitat or deeper overwintering areas.
  • 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")
  • 05/28/2009 - 5,000 Walleye (1.3")
  • 05/28/2009 - 10,000 Walleye (1.3")
  • 05/28/2009 - 47,200 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)

Contacts

Water Quality

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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