Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has published the following report on ice fishing conditions for Southeast Iowa. Be sure to check this guide before heading out onto the ice because it may not be thick enough to fish on.
Big Hollow Lake
Ice fishing not recommended on the main lake. Ice thickness at the boat ramp bay is about 4-5 inches. Ice thickness is thinner on the main body of the lake and highly variable.
Lake Belva Deer
Ice fishing not recommended. Ice thickness is about 3-4 inches in the campground arm; most of the main lake remains much thinner.
Ice fishing not recommended. Temperatures haven't been below freezing the last 48 hours. Numerous wet spots are around the lake and a couple of open water spots have developed. The frozen-over spot where the geese were is opening back up. Some anglers have been out on the ice; they are staying close to shore for the most part (<20 yards out).
Lost Grove Lake
Above the causeway is the best ice; the upper half of the main lake has improved to about 5 inches of ice. Use extreme caution if you go down lake off the middle (red barn) boat ramp, especially out away from the tree. Black Crappie - Good: Best bite is later in the afternoon into the night in about 12-14 feet of water up above the causeway. Bluegill - Good: Best bite is early morning or late afternoon down about 14 to 16 feet in the flooded timber.
For more information on the above lakes, call the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430.
Cedar River (La Porte City to Cedar Rapids)
The backwaters near Vinton have about 7 inches of ice. Bluegill - Fair: Most fish are smaller. Black Crappie - Fair: Most fish are smaller. Northern Pike - Fair: Angles are catching a few fish on tip-ups.
Central Park Lake
Ice thickness is 3-8 inches. Bluegill – Slow: Catch 4- to 6.5-inch fish on the bottom.. Largemouth Bass – Slow: Fish are 10- to 13- inches; no legal-sized fish are available yet.
Central Park Pond
Ice thickness is 4-8 inches. Fish are being caught on the bottom. Bluegill – Slow. Largemouth Bass – Slow.
The lake is at winter pool of 683.3 feet and is frozen over with variable ice.
The lake has about 2 to 6 inches of ice under the snow. Use caution if venturing out; check ice thickness often. Bluegill - Fair. Black Crappie - Fair: Most fish are 7- to 9-inches.
Green Castle Lake
Ice thickness is 4 to 6 inches. Bluegill - Fair: Most fish are small. Yellow Perch - Fair: Most fish are small. Black Crappie - Fair: A few nice fish were reported.
Ice thickness is about 6 inches in most areas, with less in the center of the lake. No fishing reports are available.
Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
Ice thickness is 6 inches on the edges and closer to 3 inches on the main lake. Use caution if venturing out; check ice thickness often. Bluegill - Fair: Some decent fish were caught this week. Black Crappie – Fair.
Ice thickness is 5-6 inches on the edges and protected areas; deeper areas may only have 2-3 inches. Use caution if venturing out; check ice thickness often. No fishing reports available.
Otter Creek Lake
Ice thickness is 6-8 inches. A yellow bass ice fishing tournament will be held here on Jan. 16. Bluegill – Good. Black Crappie – Fair. Yellow Bass – Fair.
Pleasant Creek Lake
The west end of the lake has up to 6 inches of ice; the main lake is more variable and potentially unsafe. Bluegill - Fair: Try around brush in coves. Most fish are smaller, but some are up to 7- to 8-inches. Black Crappie - Slow: A few around 9-inch fish have been caught around brush.
Rodgers Park Lake
Ice thickness is 9 to 10 inches. Most activity has been towards the north end of the lake around brush. Bluegill – Fair: Fish are reported as 5- to 8-inches. Black Crappie – Fair: Fish are reported as 10- to 12-inches.
This is the quarry in Marshalltown. Ice thickness is up to 6 inches, but is variable. Use caution and check ice thickness often. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Rainbow Trout – Fair. Bluegill - Fair: Most fish are smaller. Largemouth Bass - Slow: A few nice bass have been caught this week.
Union Grove Lake
Ice thickness is 5 to 7 inches. The aeration system was turned on Jan. 13; there is open water on the southwest corner of the lake. Bluegill - Fair: Catch bluegill up to 8 inches. Most activity has been around the west ramp jetties and over the deeper water below the cabins.
Some areas have unsafe ice hidden under the snow. Use caution if venturing out; check ice thickness often. For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.
Ice is of variable thickness. Use caution and test ice thickness often.
Ice thickness varies; use caution if venturing out and test ice thickness often.
Ice is starting to form, but is unsafe. Open water is still in some areas.
Ice thickness varies; use caution and check ice thickness often. There is open water out from the lodge and beach.
The current lake level is 904.08 msl. Recreation pool is 904 msl. The lake still has some areas of open water in the main lake. Bays and coves will ice over first. Use caution; unsafe ice is hidden under the snow. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels, so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry equipment before transporting to another waterbody.
Red Haw Lake
Use caution; the ice is of variable thickness and there are some areas of open water.
Very few anglers have been out. Ice has been forming, but it is not thick enough to fish on in most locations. 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.