On Friday May 16th, 5th graders from MFL Mar Mac school made their annual visit to the Big Springs Fish Hatchery to learn about fish and do a little fishing of their own.


Gary Siegwarth, fisheries biologist with the Iowa DNR, presented many different aspects of fish biology and management. Students learned the importance of fish habitat and water quality in maintaining  and improving the incredible fisheries of the Turkey River Watershed.… Read more ›

Dave Vetrano, retired Wisconsin DNR fisheries biologist, has more than 32 years of cold water stream management in the Driftless Region. His presentation, given to our neighbors, the Basin Alliance for the Lower Mississippi in Minnesota (BALMM), gives a short history of land use changes in the Driftless Area since the time of European settlement, and then discusses the effect those changes have had on the coldwater streams.
“In well managed grazing systems, soil erosion, manure, pesticide and herbicide runoff is reduced to almost zero.”

By Rich Holm, Fayette County Union

Twenty-four miles from West Union is the largest coldwater spring in Iowa. The Big Spring Watershed is one of the most well-known and studied sites in the nation in a limestone-dominated landscape.

Flows from the spring usually range from 20,000-30,000 gallons per minute but can exceed 150,000 GPM after a heavy rainfall.

Scientists marvel at this geology in northeast Iowa, but sportsmen from all over the state have only one thing in mind when they come here – trout!… Read more ›

AMES — Many of Iowa’s river towns are again embracing their waterfronts, and with good reason, according to a new statewide river use study by Iowa State University.

The ISU study showed overall economic impact from river recreation along 73 Iowa river and stream segments supported more than 6,350 jobs with $824 million in sales and $130 million of personal income.… Read more ›

By Brian Button, Gary Siegwarth and Greg Simmons
Illustrations by Studio Z
Printed in Iowa Outdoors, May/June 2010
Download this Magazine Article as a PDF

Dams tend to be located on rocky bedrock areas in towns, creating convenient fishing access. Use these tips for other rivers with dams, too. Fisheries biologists say these easy-to-fish locations are good, but dispel the myth they are the best locations.… Read more ›