“Trout are a cold water species and they generally are confined in Iowa into the northeast corner of Iowa naturally, but when the water turns cold in the late fall and winter, we can stock these fish in other parts of Iowa,” says biologist Joe Larscheid, who is in charge of the DNR’s fisheries. “We do that to bring trout closer, especially to urban areas, and make these family-friendly events and just really create some excitement about fishing.”
Larscheid says trout are easy to catch and once DNR staff put the fish in one of these urban lakes, it doesn’t take long for all the trout to be caught.
“It doesn’t take sophisticated equipment. Usually a biologist is there on hand and some local partners there on hand to help people be successful, so if you have young kids, these are really good events to go to,” Larscheid says. “The odds of catching fish are pretty high.”
There are a lot of “anglers” out there in the state according to Larscheid, and thousands of Iowans are angling to catch trout.
“We’ve sold more trout stamps in 2015 than ever before and they continue to increase every year,” Larscheid says, “so trout fishing is extremely popular in Iowa.”
In addition to a state fishing license, anglers need a trout stamp to legally catch trout — and more than 44,000 trout stamps have been sold this year. The DNR’s first urban “trout stocking” event is scheduled fpr January 9 at the Scharnberg Pond in Spencer.
“I’d just like to encourage people when these events are in your area get your plans together, get your family together and really make an effort to get there,” Larscheid says. “A lot of these trout are caught very quickly one we put them in the system, so the fastest action is usually the day of, right when we stock them.”
In addition to the event planned in Spencer, trout will be stocked at lakes in Ames, Sioux City, Indianola, Council Bluffs, Mason City, Muscatine, Dubuque, Davenport, Fort Dodge, Cedar Falls, Ottumwa, Bondurant, Cedar Rapids, Marshalltown, Iowa City and Fort Madison. Find the full schedule here.