The summer drought means more trout for fall anglers.
Through July and August, low stream flows and near triple-digit air temperatures meant several trout streams were dropped from stocking routes. Trout are coldwater species and would have been under heavy stress, possibly dying, going from cold hatchery water to northeast Iowa streams that might have peaked in the 80 degree range.
With more seasonal conditions, trout which would have been stocked then…are available now.
“We have 12,000 to 15,000 trout which we held back because of low flow and high water temperatures,” explains Dave Marolf, DNR Manchester trout hatchery manager.
“They are already at stocking size. They would be too big and it would cost too much to hold them over the winter. So, September and October anglers will benefit from the summer drought. Some still will be available as the snow flies, for winter opportunities.”
As stocking trucks from the Manchester, Big Spring (near Elkader) and Decorah facilities head out with trout for ‘put and take’ streams over the next few weeks, there are extra rainbow trout on each load.
The DNR’s trout stocking hotline (563-927-5736) has a weekly stocking update. The DNR’s website; www.iowadnr.gov also carries it.
Anglers, of course, must still pay the trout fee ($12.50) to fish for trout and must hold a fishing license, if required. The DNR stocks about 300,000 catchable sized rainbow and brook trout each year in streams across nine northeast Iowa counties.
Meanwhile, the new Iowa Trout Fishing Guide is now available. The 2012 version contains many rural road names, to help guide anglers toward streams. It also offers QR codes for owners of smartphones to go directly to the newly installed ‘Trout Cam’ at the Manchester hatchery or to the DNR’s Trout Webpage.
Logo courtesy Iowa Department of Natural Resources