The trout truck was rerouted slightly, but a dozen anglers had it figured out in a few moments. Low water in Iowa City’s Sand Lake has left a mud flat off the main ramp of the city-owned lake Friday, as a DNR stocking truck pulled up with about 2,000 rainbow trout, the first of two cool weather stockings there.

Backing down through the sand, a few hundred yards away, Manchester hatchery manager Dave Marolf and area fisheries technician Chris Mack tubed the trout into the shallow southeast corner of the 90-acre lake.  It didn’t take long for results.

Ed Pederson had caught his limit of five and was heading out minutes after Marolf and the stocking truck departed. “Used a (502) Super Duper for them. Just gave the fish away as I left,” said Pederson of Lone Tree.

With a couple exceptions, that small brass spinner—or similar-sized Panther-Martin or Roostertails—were the lures of choice as the crowd grew to 20.  Only one or two had hooked a trout early on small worms or prepared bait.  Confusion over the stocking date kept crowd numbers down. “That should leave plenty of trout for everybody else. They’ll spread out; just fish shallow,” suggested Mack, noting that the trout have been raised for over a year in 3-foot deep raceways.

The urban stockings continue through next week across Iowa. Those 17 urban lakes will receive a second shipment late in the winter or in early spring. The coldwater fish do well in the winter months, and will be caught by the time temperatures turn upwards next spring.

Anglers must possess a regular fishing license, if required, and a trout fee to fish for trout. Information about the urban trout program is on the DNR’s website, Click on Fishing, then trout fishing.

Logo courtesy Iowa Department of Natural Resources

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