(DNR photo)

The Iowa DNR’s fall trout stocking gets underway this Wednesday. Northeast Iowa fisheries supervisor, Mike Steuck says they’ll stock 18 lakes and ponds across the state.

“Depending upon the body of water, it’s around a thousand, between one-thousand and two-thousand fish just depends on the size. The bigger bodies of water, they’ll get more fish,” Steuck says. The stocking was started to allow everyone a chance to catch trout close to where they live so they don’t have to drive to northeast Iowa’s trout streams.

Steuck says the fish that are stocked are easy to catch. “They should expect some hungry fish because we typically take them off feed before we haul them. They just stay haul better and then they don’t get gets upset — you know kind of like when you’re taking their kids for a ride — you make sure that you don’t feed them right before you go,” Steuck says.

He says you don’t need any special gear to catch these trout — but you do need fishing license and a trout stamp. Steuck says the stocking has proved popular.

“Most of them get caught, that’s what our goal is for all of them to get caught,” he says, “that’s why we advertise when they’re being stocked. We want people to get excited about going fishing and hoped that they all get caught. But sometimes they don’t. And some will make it through to the spring especially so we stack these twice, once in the fall and then once in the winter and or spring.”

The drought has brought water levels down in some areas, but Steuck says they are more concerned about water temperatures when stocking the trout. “And that’s why we wait until fall. Once those water temps get below 70 degrees and around 65 or 60. That’s when we start stocking the trout in those urban ponds or community ponds,” he says.

They used to use some brook trout that they brought in from outside, but he says they are now only stocking rainbow trout. He says they are trying to grow the native brook trout populations in South Pine Creek in Winneshiek County.

To try and restore those populations in other streams instead of just having them in that one. So we’re trying to keep our genetics tight, using the best genetics to restore those populations so that they’ll reproduce on their own,” Steuck says.

Steuck says that’s the approach they took with the native brown trout that are in northeast Iowa. Find more information about trout fishing regulations, check the DNR webpage at iowadnr.gov and click on the trout fishing tab.

Here’s the trout stocking schedule.
2022 Fall Community Trout Stocking Schedule
Oct. 19, Heritage Pond Dubuque, 3 p.m.
Oct. 19, North Prairie Lake, Cedar Falls, 3 p.m.
Oct. 20, Moorland Pond =, Fort Dodge, 1 p.m.
Oct. 20, Sand Lake Marshalltown, 1 p.m.
Oct. 21, Liberty Centre Pond, North Liberty, 9:30 a.m.
Oct. 21, Ottumwa Park Pond, Ottumwa, 10:30 a.m.
Oct. 22, Discovery Park, Muscatine, 9:30 a.m.
Oct. 22, East Lake Park Pond, Mount Pleasant, 10 a.m.
Oct. 22, Wilson Lake, Fort Madison, 11 a.m.
Oct. 24, Bacon Creek, Sioux City, 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 27, Lake Petocka , Bondurant, Noon
Oct. 27, Terra Lake, Johnston, Noon
Oct. 28, Triumph Park West, Waukee 11:30 a.m.
Oct. 28, Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake, Ames, Noon
Oct. 28, Big Lake , Council Bluffs, 2:30 p.m.
Nov. 5, Scharnberg Pond, Spencer, 12:30 p.m.
Nov. 18, Prairie Park (Cedar Bend), Cedar Rapids, 10 a.m.
Nov. 23, Blue Pit, Mason City, 11 a.m.