Home Forums Fishing Trout Fishing I vote C&R Only in all IA trout streams from last stocking to first stocking

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  • stick500stick500
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    Post count: 457

    I’m gonna toss this idea to you guys to see what others think before I propose it to the DNR.

    The last couple of years the fall weather has been so mild that my local streams (Swiss Valley and Bankston) have seen a lot of anglers throughout November, and this year now even into December with almost a week of temps in the 50s.

    Both streams got their last stockings in late Oct.

    I just hit Swiss Valley and the water was low and clear and I could see if anything was in most of the regular spots. They weren’t. And fishing the deeper holes where they might be hiding, I only found a couple all afternoon. I also heard that anglers weren’t catching any at Bankston either.

    Now in years past I loved to hit Swiss and Bankston in Jan. and Feb. and was quite happy catching quite a few less than I do the rest of the year, but as it stands now, it looks like it’s not even worth the trouble.

    I always do C&R after the last stocking so there’s fish left for the winter, but obviously not everybody else does.

    So if Iowa is going to be one of the few Midwest states that offers year-round trout fishing, why not make a bit of an attempt to make winter trout fishing a much better deal?

    Would there be an uproar from IA trout fishermen if next year, all trout fishing was strictly C&R from the day of the last stocking to the day of the first stocking? Perhaps throw in artificials-only and barbless hooks, too, to keep mortality down?

    Obviously, I vote yes, and I think most anglers would appreciate having more of a reason to go out in Jan.-March. If you like to eat trout, there’s plenty to take from April to October. Let the hardcore guys enjoy the fewer fish in the winter.

    What would the cost be? Well, really, perhaps just some prominant signage at some of the more popular sections of a stream, and of course a change in the regulations book and DNR website.

    What do you guys think? I know many here don’t like any extra rules and regs to follow, but what’s the point of having winter trout fishing with no fish available?

    Thanks in advance for any input. I imagine the DNR goes over any new proposals for next year during the winter, right? I haven’t done any of that homework, yet, but I have conversed with the MN DNR in the past and have found them to be quite receptive to input from schmoes like me.

    Avatarmbchilton
    Participant
    Post count: 511

    I would venture to guess that very few trout are kept from November to March, regardless of weather. I would also tell you just because you weren’t catching fish doesn’t mean they aren’t there. The dumb stockers got caught, and the fish still in the stream, even if they were stocked, are smart holdover fish that behave just like wild trout. They’re there, I promise you.

    As the state moves more toward a wild trout fishery, we’ll probably need to implement more catch and release regulations. That’s a process, and I don’t see the DNR making any big changes in the next five years.

    Avatarmbchilton
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    Post count: 511

    All that said, I’d still encourage you to talk to someone in the trout program from the DNR. They’re good people and I’m sure would be happy to discuss the topic with you. We’re very fortunate to have the current DNR staff that run the trout program. They’re working hard for our trout streams, and what they do with the modest budget the state gives them is commendable.

    AvatarMr.Seaguar
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    Post count: 1364

    One bad day and you think the regs should be changed? If you had caught 20 fish would you have posted this?

    Avatarspeng5
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    Post count: 2928

    I’m not going to chime in on this, because I”m more than certain everyone else will have no issue discussing the aspects of mandated C&R.

    I just want to second what mbchilton said, the trout folks really are about as helpful as could be. I’ve only contacted them maybe 3-4 times but each and every time I got a super detailed and helpful response, a reference of someone to talk with further, etc. You can tell they really do go out of their way to be helpful which is super cool to see in a day where that really isn’t too common. I’m sure you could get a good, and educated, take on this from contacting them.

    I would advise against saying things like “let the hardcore guys enjoy those fewer winter fish” though. Powerbait users sitting on their buckets buy a stamp too, and thus are entitled to those same few fish as someone who is “hard core.” If you’re implying legislating something that can be legislated, like barbless hooks along with C&R or artificials only, then say so, but the “hard core” thing alone doesn’t hold much merit.

    Avatarkenhump
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    Post count: 12769

    “So if Iowa is going to be one of the few Midwest states that offers year-round trout fishing, why not make a bit of an attempt to make winter trout fishing a much better deal?”
    Not sure where you get the idea that Iowa is the only midwest state with winter trout fishing. Now the barb less hooks sound good and s select few artificial only streams too.

    stick500stick500
    Participant
    Post count: 457

    Quote by: speng5

    I would advise against saying things like “let the hardcore guys enjoy those fewer winter fish” though.

    Great advice- I was thinking the same thing as I typed it!

    Winter trout fishing closes in WI and and is limited in MN.

    As for me not catching many Sunday, I know Swiss Valley pretty well and rarely come up up empty-handed. There’s really not many places they could have been hiding. I especially felt sorry for the fly fisherman who drove from Madison (1 1/2 drive) to try out his new pole.

    I appreciate all the comments here and am looking forward to talking to the IA DNR. As mentioned by you guys, I too have always had good conversations/e-mail exchanges every time I’ve made the attempt.

    Will keep you posted on any feedback I get from them.

    AvatarSR Dave
    Participant
    Post count: 170

    Closed seasons are generally put into place to protect spawning fish and females as the eggs develop. Trout fishing in Iowa is a put and take system. As a winter angler, I do not see any reason why I should not be allowed the same privileges as a summertime angler. There may be a very few select streams which, having natural reproduction, might benefit from a closed period. What time of year that would be, would depend on the spawn rather than the stocking dates.

    Avatarspeng5
    Participant
    Post count: 2928

    Quote by: SR+Dave

    Closed seasons are generally put into place to protect spawning fish and females as the eggs develop. Trout fishing in Iowa is a put and take system. As a winter angler, I do not see any reason why I should not be allowed the same privileges as a summertime angler. There may be a very few select streams which, having natural reproduction, might benefit from a closed period. What time of year that would be, would depend on the spawn rather than the stocking dates.

    I think a lot more streams and rivers are essentially put and take than people realize. A LOT more. That’s why the regs are the way they area. Now, whether or not it has been a long enough time, enough watershed improvement, enough progress made in restoring water quality that its time to reevaluate natural reproduction in certain streams, that is a different, and IMO very relevant discussion.

    Places like Coldwater and a few more have rainbow natural reproduction now. They apparently didn’t before or it was in such small numbers it was statistically irrelevant. But reevaluting some of those similar areas due to postive changes in the watershed, water quality, and fish reproduction could do certain streams some good.

    I do agree there area PLENTY of true put and take fisheries in subpar streams for natural reproduction, that you can go there to fill up a stringer using power bait. As long as we have enough areas like that I think we can do a pretty decent job of keeping the vast majority of trout anglers happy. Keep some natural repro streams C&R, some artificial or barbless only, and have some meat getter streams in the less desirable watersheds, and we’ll be doing good IMO.

    AvatarTrapCyclone
    Participant
    Post count: 2552

    I would be against adding more complex and cumbersome regulations regarding trout fishing in Iowa. I’ve already read plenty of posts from LenH about how much of a pain it is to try to keep track of all the new regulations that the Wisconsin DNR introduces every year as it pertains to trout fishing. I mean, who wants to drive up to NE Iowa and then have to keep track of which stream is C&R, which is barbless hooks and/or artificial bait only, and then which are a free-for-all?!

    Say you fish one stream with minnows on barbed hooks and keep a couple trout then drive to another stream that is C&R only with artificial lures. Let’s say you get stopped by the local CO shortly after you arrive at the C&R stream then how are you going to explain why you have barbed hooks on your poles, a bait bucket full of minnows, and a stringer of trout?! This is just my opinion, but I strongly prefer the Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) approach above all else. Let people just enjoy the outdoors without having to worry so much about whether they are inadvertently breaking the law.

    stick500stick500
    Participant
    Post count: 457

    Quote by: TrapCyclone

    I would be against adding more complex and cumbersome regulations regarding trout fishing in Iowa. I’ve already read plenty of posts from LenH about how much of a pain it is to try to keep track of all the new regulations that the Wisconsin DNR introduces every year as it pertains to trout fishing. I mean, who wants to drive up to NE Iowa and then have to keep track of which stream is C&R, which is barbless hooks and/or artificial bait only, and then which are a free-for-all?!

    Say you fish one stream with minnows on barbed hooks and keep a couple trout then drive to another stream that is C&R only with artificial lures. Let’s say you get stopped by the local CO shortly after you arrive at the C&R stream then how are you going to explain why you have barbed hooks on your poles, a bait bucket full of minnows, and a stringer of trout?! This is just my opinion, but I strongly prefer the Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) approach above all else. Let people just enjoy the outdoors without having to worry so much about whether they are inadvertently breaking the law.

    I understand that argument and wouldn’t want to see that scenario. That’s why I’m proposing that all Iowa trout streams are C&R from November 1 to the end of March ( the period between the stocking schedules). That keeps it pretty simple, actually.

    AvatarSR Dave
    Participant
    Post count: 170

    Quote by: stick500

    Quote by: TrapCyclone

    I would be against adding more complex and cumbersome regulations regarding trout fishing in Iowa. I’ve already read plenty of posts from LenH about how much of a pain it is to try to keep track of all the new regulations that the Wisconsin DNR introduces every year as it pertains to trout fishing. I mean, who wants to drive up to NE Iowa and then have to keep track of which stream is C&R, which is barbless hooks and/or artificial bait only, and then which are a free-for-all?!

    Say you fish one stream with minnows on barbed hooks and keep a couple trout then drive to another stream that is C&R only with artificial lures. Let’s say you get stopped by the local CO shortly after you arrive at the C&R stream then how are you going to explain why you have barbed hooks on your poles, a bait bucket full of minnows, and a stringer of trout?! This is just my opinion, but I strongly prefer the Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) approach above all else. Let people just enjoy the outdoors without having to worry so much about whether they are inadvertently breaking the law.

    I understand that argument and wouldn’t want to see that scenario. That’s why I’m proposing that all Iowa trout streams are C&R from November 1 to the end of March ( the period between the stocking schedules). That keeps it pretty simple, actually.

    Again, as a wintertime angler, why can I not eat a few trout same as the summertime angler?

    Avatardjo
    Participant
    Post count: 355

    Years ago I suggested two ideas to the DNR fisheries types that I thought would greatly improve Iowa as a trout fishing destination. One idea was the same as yours – once the DNR stops stocking trout then fishermen should stop killing trout thus maintaining a stable population through the winter. The second was to convert one of the better streams in the state (maybe Waterloo or North Bear) and regulate it as trophy fish water with a slot limit and limited or no stocking. The response I got was the same. Iowa fishermen are predominately interested in catching fish to take home to their freezers and would not accept ideas like this. I do not know if it is true or not.

    I have a fishing buddy who has a more cynical response. He says that if there are rules there has to be enforcement. Since enforcement on Iowa trout streams is next to non-existent, then it is foolish to institute rules that will just be ignored. I am not that cynical but he does have a point.

    Avatarmbchilton
    Participant
    Post count: 511

    Quote by: djo

    Years ago I suggested two ideas to the DNR fisheries types that I thought would greatly improve Iowa as a trout fishing destination. One idea was the same as yours – once the DNR stops stocking trout then fishermen should stop killing trout thus maintaining a stable population through the winter. The second was to convert one of the better streams in the state (maybe Waterloo or North Bear) and regulate it as trophy fish water with a slot limit and limited or no stocking. The response I got was the same. Iowa fishermen are predominately interested in catching fish to take home to their freezers and would not accept ideas like this. I do not know if it is true or not.

    I have a fishing buddy who has a more cynical response. He says that if there are rules there has to be enforcement. Since enforcement on Iowa trout streams is next to non-existent, then it is foolish to institute rules that will just be ignored. I am not that cynical but he does have a point.

    I’ve been told we don’t need C&R on North Bear because it is a completely self sustaining population of brown trout, and some harvest is healthy.

    Avatarkenhump
    Participant
    Post count: 12769

    Quote by: TrapCyclone

    I would be against adding more complex and cumbersome regulations regarding trout fishing in Iowa. I’ve already read plenty of posts from LenH about how much of a pain it is to try to keep track of all the new regulations that the Wisconsin DNR introduces every year as it pertains to trout fishing. I mean, who wants to drive up to NE Iowa and then have to keep track of which stream is C&R, which is barbless hooks and/or artificial bait only, and then which are a free-for-all?!

    Say you fish one stream with minnows on barbed hooks and keep a couple trout then drive to another stream that is C&R only with artificial lures. Let’s say you get stopped by the local CO shortly after you arrive at the C&R stream then how are you going to explain why you have barbed hooks on your poles, a bait bucket full of minnows, and a stringer of trout?! This is just my opinion, but I strongly prefer the Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) approach above all else. Let people just enjoy the outdoors without having to worry so much about whether they are inadvertently breaking the law.

    Not a problem on the hooks. If you’re not actively fishing with it, you are good. Been there.

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