Winter Trout Stocking in Iowa

During the warmer spring and summer months, trout fishing is popular in the cold-water streams of Northeast Iowa. But with cooler weather across the state, trout can survive in areas that aren't typically hospitable environments.

Since the Iowa DNR began winter and spring trout stockings in some of Iowa’s more urban ponds and lakes a decade ago, trout hatchery trucks have been greeted by throngs of anglers eagerly anticipating the first strike.

The DNR offers cool weather trout stocking from Council Bluffs to Muscatine, and from Spencer to Cedar Rapids, with 18 locations across the state gearing up to receive trout this winter and spring. Find the trout stocking locations and times on the Iowa DNR’s trout website.

Winter Trout Stocking in Iowa

“These trout are easy to catch using simple, inexpensive tackle. We usually have a family-friendly fishing event associated with the stocking to help novice anglers be successful,” Larscheid said.

Bringing trout to cities and towns offers a unique fishing experience to Iowans who might not normally travel to northeast Iowa to trout fish. The experiment has been a success.

“We’ve seen a steady increase in the number of trout fishing privileges sold since the first trout was released in South Banner Lake (north of Indianola) in 2004,” said Larscheid.

Anglers must purchase a trout privilege and have a valid fishing license to fish for or possess trout. There is a five-fish-per-day limit with a possession limit of 10. Children may fish under an adult’s license but together they may only take one daily limit. The child may have his/her own limit if purchasing a trout privilege.