Urban Iowa anglers will have two opportunities to catch trout in the near future thanks to the DNR. One stocking is at Ada Hayden near Ames:
DNR to stock rainbow trout at Ada Hayden
By Todd Burras
Published: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 10:54 AM CST
An infusion of color will be added to Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake this week.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will stock the north basin of the lake with 2,100 11- to 13-inch rainbow trout from the Decorah hatchery at noon Friday, Nov. 19.
“We’re trying to expand our urban trout program to communities where we haven’t done it before,” said Ben Dodd, a fisheries research technician for the DNR. “Ada Hayden is an ideal spot, except that it’s too big. It has excellent water quality, good parking and amenities, and good shoreline access. ”To limit the habitat available to the trout, the DNR will install an underwater block net where the channel narrows under the bridge dividing the north and south basins. Signs will be posted advising paddlers and boaters not to pass over the net. “We want kayakers and canoeists to portage around the area, and we ask that boaters who want to use the south basin put in on the south boat ramp,” Dodd said. The net will be in place until spring, and Dodd said the DNR will restock trout in the north basin once a solid base of ice is established on the lake. “Our goals are to provide a unique trout fishing opportunity for urban residents,” Dodd said. “It’s also a chance for new anglers and kids to catch a really fun fish, and it’s a way to educate the population about the trout streams we have in Iowa.” Northeast Iowa is home to more than 100 cold-water streams that support reproducing populations of native brook trout, as well as non-native brown and rainbow trout. Anglers age 16 and older who want to fish for and possess trout at Ada Hayden will be required to purchase a trout stamp in addition to an Iowa fishing license. Anglers age 15 and younger do not need either a trout stamp or fishing license, unless they intend to possess any trout, in which case they must be accompanied by an adult with a license and a trout stamp. Together they can combine to possess the one-person daily limit of five trout. Anglers age 15 and younger also have the option to purchase their own trout stamp, which allows them to keep their own daily limit of five trout. At urban trout stockings, Dodd said the DNR usually has a law enforcement officer on site to check licenses. Trout tend to be voracious eaters that typically will bite on whatever tackle and bait anglers use for panfish, such as bluegills, sunfish and crappies, Dodd said. “Spinners, little crankbaits, tiny jigs with corn, small pieces of night crawlers, wax worms and small minnows are all good options,” he said. Locally, Iowa fishing licenses and trout stamps are available at Hy-Vee West, JAX Outdoor Gear, Kmart, Theisen’s, Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart Supercenter.
The Iowa DNR also plans on stocking trout in the newly opened Prairie Park in Cedar Rapids:
Cedar Rapids area anglers will be able to try their luck, as cold water trout are stocked this weekend in Prairie Park Fishery. About 1,500 trout will be released, as the trout program’s urban fisheries expands to Cedar Rapids. The release is at 11 a.m. Saturday, November 13 at the boat ramp of Prairie Park, off Otis Road SE. “High water through the summer blocked some scheduled stocking on northeast Iowa trout streams. These fish are ‘extras’ from that program,” explains Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist Paul Sleeper. Most of the stocked trout will be one-half pound rainbows, about 12-14 inches long. Already, about a dozen other Iowa communities receive trout through the cold weather months. Through most of the year, trout are not suited to the relatively warm waters outside their northeast Iowa range of bluffs and coldwater streams. However, in the winter, those temperatures drop to an acceptable level. That allows a wider range of anglers to experience a little bit of the trout experience. By spring warm up, virtually all the stocked trout will have been caught. “Coming off the stocking trucks, most trout look for something with a little ‘flash’ to it; maybe a rooster tail, a Panther-Martin; something with a bright color,” suggests Sleeper. As the trout acclimate to the new surroundings, anglers have had success with a variety of bait; powerbait, redworms, kernels of corn…as well as small jigs and spinners.
Any angler fishing for trout must possess a trout fee on his or her license. That can be purchased separately if the license is already in hand…or may be added as another privilege. Any regular DNR license outlet provides trout fees, as well. The daily limit for trout is five. Kids under 16 may fish without a trout fee, as long as each is supervised by a properly licensed adult. That combined catch, however, cannot exceed a single daily limit. Those younger anglers may also pay their own trout fee and fish for their own daily limit.
Prairie Park Fishery is newly opened in Cedar Rapids, developed in the area of a former sand and gravel quarry on the southeast side. Look for signs leading to it along Highway 13, southeast of town and on Memorial Drive, in Cedar Rapids.
Walleye Wisdom angler Matt Speicher is going to be fishing Ada Hayden later this week and will report back to us.