Iowa Lake Profile
By Steve Weisman
Lake Icaria is a 648 acre lake located in Adams County. Boasting all of the amenities of a DNR managed lake, Lake Icaria has boat access, a fishing jetty and pier, camping, restrooms and a beach. The lake is also a popular fishing destination for those seeking one of Iowa’s popular native gamefish species including walleye, channel catfish, crappie and bass.
The channel catfish in Lake Icaria are abundant and easily caught by bank fishermen and boat fishermen alike using worms, cutbait and stinkbait. The walleyes are of low abundance but their size makes up for the lack of numbers with a chance at fish exceeding 24 inches. The largemouth bass display average numbers with quite a few fish in the two to three pound range and better. Lake Icaria also has a large population of big black bullheads which make great flathead catfish bait and fun for kids looking to soak a worm with mom or dad.
Lake Darling is a 303 acre lake located in Washington County. Like Icaria, Lake Darling has many amenities that can incorporate the whole family during a weekend outing. Boat access, a jetty and a pier, camping, restrooms and a playground are just a few. The lake has recently been renovated and the improvements can be seen through the success of the fishery and water quality. The shad die-off in the winter of 2000 has greatly improved water conditions and native species recruitment as well.
The lake is sort of a secret to those who fish it regularly and it can produce some large fish for the patient angler. Bluegill and crappie are of average abundance and average size with some bigger fish present. The largemouth bass and channel catfish show good abundance with some truly big fish living within the system. Some of the bigger bass can exceed six pound while some of the bigger channel cats exceed ten pounds. Another little gem that many do not know about is the presence of flathead catfish in Lake Darling. They are of low abundance but some fairly large flattys call Darling home. It is advised that any flathead catfish caught are released back to the lake immediately. Their existence within the lake is fragile and they are extremely important for the control of carp, shad and other unwanted fish species.
Rock Creek Lake
Another DNR managed lake, Rock Creek Lake hosts a hard surface boat ramp, picnic area, hiking trails, a campground, playground and restrooms. This 466 acre lake is the perfect place to bring a kid fishing with chances at catching many different species.
Rock creek boasts a large abundance of panfish, most predominantly Bluegill and White crappie. The Bluegill are of good size with some fish exceeding 8 inches. The White crappie are of average size with many fish in the 8-10 inch range. For those of you hardcore bass guys and gals, Rock Creek also harbors some plus sized largemouth. They are of low to moderate abundance but the size of the bass caught by a determined angler is worth the trip out. Channel catfish are also large in this lake and their population is quite high. Any worm, cutbait or stinkbait tossed on the bottom is likely to produce a cat with some patience. Walleyes are also present and some anglers experience good success on them during key times of the year. The size on the walleyes is relatively small with some fish exceeding 20 inches.