This is the Iowa DNR Manchester Trout Hatchery Trout Cam located near Manchester, IA. The camera is streaming video of a pond holding mostly adult rainbow trout used for spawning.
The DNR manages fish and wildlife programs, ensures the health of Iowa’s forests and prairies, and provides recreational opportunities in Iowa’s state parks. Just as importantly, the DNR carries out state and federal laws that protect air, land and water through technical assistance, permitting and compliance programs. The DNR also encourages the enjoyment and stewardship of natural resources among Iowans through outreach and education.
CATCHABLE TROUT FISHERIES
There are over 42 streams and two ponds that are stocked with catchable size rainbow or brook trout that are typically 10-12 inches long and weigh about one-half pound.
The Iowa DNR stocks between 300,000 and 400,000 trout from April 1st through late autumn. In addition, more than 600 excess brood trout weighing over 2 pounds each are released in small numbers into each area. Rainbow and brook trout are used in the catchable stocking program. Aproximately 85% are rainbows and 15% are brooks. The number of fish stocked into each area varies depending on length of the stream and angler use of the area. These criteria also determine the frequency that each area is stocked.
Stream fisheries surveys indicate that good trout numbers are present several days after the most recent stocking and throughout the winter. In additon to the stocked trout, most of these areas have fair to excellent wild brown trout that challenge even the best anglers. Brown trout up to 20 inches are not uncommon.
NATURALLY REPRODUCING AND FINGERLING STOCKED STREAMS
Over the past 20 years northeast Iowa has experienced a dramatic increase in the miles of stream supporting populations of trout that are fully sustained through natural reproduction. These increases occurred as watersheds were improved, instream habitat was installed, improved fingerling trout genetics were used, and Iowa went through an extended period of above average annual rainfall. As of 2012, there are about 36 streams in Iowa that maintain populations of naturally reproducing trout and many of these streams are publically owned including portions of: Bloody Run, Clear, Coldwater, Ensign Hollow, French, Grannis, Little Paint, North Bear, Pine, Richmond Springs, South Pine, Sny Magill, South Fork Big Mill, Trout River, and Waterloo.
About two-hundred thousand fingerling trout are stocked into Iowa streams each year to provide additional opportunities to catch “stream-reared” trout. About seventy percent of the stocked fingerlings are brown trout with the remainder comprised of rainbow trout and brook trout. Some of the fingerling-stocked streams are on private lands and are listed in the “PUT AND GROW STREAMS” table. Landowner permission is required to fish “PUT AND GROW STREAMS”. Fingerling trout are also stocked into the following streams with public-owned access: Bear (Clayton County), Bloody Run, Brush (Fayette County), Coon, Dunning’s Spring, Fountain Springs, Glovers, Pine, Little Mill, Little Turkey, Maquoketa River, Monastery, Mossy Glen, North Cedar, South Bear, Spring Branch, Swiss Valley, Trout Run, Twin Springs, White Pine Hollow, and Wapsipinicon River.
The goal of steam improvement is to improve and maintain quality water and trout habitat to benefit the trout and the angler.
Fisheries personnel conduct an active habitat improvement program on trout streams. The first step is to minimize erosion of topsoil into the stream by applying proper agriculture practices on the land in the watershed.
Habitat structures, such as rock deflectors, bank hides and weirs are installed to provide protective cover, create holes and increase stream current to remove silt and expose the underlying rock streambed.
Bank stabilization projects occur on public and private owned properties. Cutbanks are stabilized by backsloping, covering the lower bank with rock and seeding the entire bank with grasses. This stabilizes the bank and provides shade to the stream and overhead cover for the trout.
EXPERIENCE NORTHEAST IOWA'S TROUT FISHERIES
Most trout waters in Iowa are located in the nine Northeast Iowa Counties of Mitchell, Howard, Winneshiek, Allamakee, Fayette, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque and Jackson Counties.
There is some excellent trout fishing opportunities in Northeast Iowa. Grab your poles and get out there and enjoy the resource!
For more information on Iowa's Trout Fisheries and for rules and regulations, visit our Iowa DNR fisheries website at: