Government

Gone fishing in Iowa - for 10.5 million days

Now-retired Gazette outdoor writer Orlan Love poses with a chunky largemouth bass caught during a fishing and sightseeing vacation on the Mississippi River at Lansing (Gazette file photo)
Now-retired Gazette outdoor writer Orlan Love poses with a chunky largemouth bass caught during a fishing and sightseeing vacation on the Mississippi River at Lansing (Gazette file photo)

DES MOINES — Iowans nearly wore out their “Gone fishing” signs last year.

Iowa anglers fished a total of 10.5 million days in 2018, according to state Department of Natural Resources officials.

That compared with 8.3 million days in 2007, according to a recent survey, conducted by Responsive Management, that was highlighted Tuesday by DNR officials.

A randomly selected group of more than 1,600 licensed anglers were asked how often they go fishing and where, what species they fish for and their opinions on DNR fisheries management, DNR officials said.

The Mississippi River was the most popular place to fish, followed by private ponds, the Cedar River, Clear Lake and the Des Moines River, according to a DNR news release. Nearly two-thirds of Iowa anglers fish at lakes, and 59 percent fish on Iowa’s rivers and streams.

More than half of Iowa anglers fish for bass, and nearly three-fourths fish for pan fish (bluegill, crappie and perch). Bluegill, walleye, largemouth bass and channel catfish are the species anglers most often attempt to pull from Iowa waterways, according to the DNR.

State officials report that 68 percent of anglers rate fishing in Iowa as excellent or good, while 66 percent of anglers rate public access to Iowa’s inland rivers and streams for fishing as excellent or good, compared with 63 percent in 2007. More than half of Iowa anglers rate the fishing opportunities within a few miles of their home as excellent or good.

The complete 2018 Iowa Angler Survey results are available on the DNR website (pdf download link).

• Comments: (515) 243-7220; rod.boshart@thegazette.com

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