Thin, unsafe ice on most lakes, ponds, and rivers

DES MOINES – The following is the weekly fishing report from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for southeast Iowa. Most reports indicate thin skim ice is present and is unsafe for fishing.

Mississippi River Pool 19 
Tailwater stage is 7 feet at Lock and Dam 18 and is falling. Flood stage is 10 feet at Lock and Dam 18. River stage is 12.39 feet at Burlington; flood stage is 15 feet. River stage is 526.8 feet at Fort Madison; flood stage is 528 feet. We have not received any fishing report information for this pool. 

Tailwater stages have been falling this past week. Main channel water temperature is around 32 degrees. Unsafe ice conditions. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19 contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

Lake Belva Deer 
Open water and unsafe thin ice.

Lake Darling 
Most of the lake froze over Dec. 11. Still some open water. Ice thin and unsafe. 

Lake Darling District Farm Ponds
Most of them froze over Dec. 10. Unsafe ice thickness.

Lost Grove Lake
A mix of open water and very thin ice

Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)
Ice has started to form on the river; chunks were floating on downstream Dec. 12.

For more information on the above lake, call the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430.

Coralville Reservoir
Skim ice formed over most of the lake this week. The lake level will be lowered 3+ feet to winter pool over the next week; ice conditions will be unstable.

Diamond Lake
The lake is partially covered in skim ice.

Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
Skim ice formed over most of the lake this week.

Lake Macbride 
Skim ice formed over most of the lake this week.

Pleasant Creek Lake 
Skim ice formed over most of the lake this week.

Wapsipinicon River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)
Skim ice has formed over the backwaters, but is still unsafe. The boat ramp in Pinicon Ridge is closed for the winter.

Most lakes/ponds now have skim ice; there is no safe ice in this area. For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.

Lake Miami
Skim ice is forming overnight when cold enough, making fishing difficult.

Lake Wapello
Skim ice is forming at night, making fishing difficult.

Ottumwa Park Pond South
Trout were stocked on Oct. 25th. The pond is covered in skim ice, making fishing difficult. You need a valid fishing license (age 16 and older) and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Rathbun Reservoir
The current lake level is 905.37 msl. Normal operating elevation is 904.0 msl. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels, so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body. Most docks have been pulled out for the season and most campgrounds are closed. The bays and coves will start to be covered with skim ice, making fishing difficult.

Red Haw Lake
Skim ice is forming overnight, making fishing difficult.

There has been very little angler activity in the last week. The district includes Appanoose, Davis, Lucas, Mahaska, Monroe, Wapello, Wayne and Van Buren counties. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.

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