The DNR’s annual trout stocking of ponds across the state is now complete. Northeast Iowa regional fisheries supervisor Mike Steuck says it’s a way to introduce trout fishing outside their normal habitat.
He says they stocked 18 community ponds with the goal of getting people excited about trout fishing with the hope they will then try trout fishing in the northeast Iowa trout streams. They put between 1,500 and 2,000 trout into the ponds.
“They’re usually about two to the pound or a half a pound apiece and they’re ten to twelve inches in size. And then, of course, each pond gets a few of the broodstock that we don’t use for breeding anymore or spawning, gets stocked into each of the community trout fisheries as well. So, there’s some five to six-pound trout to be had,” he says.
Steuck says the stock trout are not hard to catch. “They’re hungry and they readily bite on most lures and baits. We want them to be caught out of there before summer anyway when water temperatures rise up,” he explains.
The pond stocking of trout has become so popular that the DNR waits until after they are stock to announce the location. He says most are caught pretty quickly once people find their location.
“We’ve had very, very few that we’ve seen hold over into the summer, but there are a few ponds out there that have some cooler water yet. There’s a few that have survived, but most of them are caught,” Steuck says.
Steuk says the goal is to raise interest in trout fishing — but it also can raise interest in fishing overall. “The neat thing about these ponds is you really don’t know what you are going to catch. You could catch the trout of course that we stock — but you could also catch largemouth bass or bluegill, or a channel catfish, a small pike. It’s a mixed bag catch a lot of times. Folks are doing pretty well,” according to Steuck.
You can go to the DNR’s website to find out more about the ponds which have been stocked.