Angler's dream, Iowa relaxes fishing rules at Lake Pahoja - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Angler's dream, Iowa relaxes fishing rules at Lake Pahoja

Lake Pahoja is five feet lower than usual due to draining efforts by the Iowa DNR. Lake Pahoja is five feet lower than usual due to draining efforts by the Iowa DNR.

It's a sports fisherman's dream. Catch any fish you want and as much as you want but it all has to go home with you.

Lake Pahoja is one of the many Iowa destinations for fishing. But, over the past decade, carp, an invasive species, has overrun the lake, and disturbed much of its natural vegetation and wildlife.

"The carp of course are a very tough fish, along with carp and bullhead, they seem to be the main survivors," Craig Van Otterloo, the director of the Lyon County Conservation Board.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is trying to kill off the carp, as part of their renovation project. Craig Van Otterloo, the director of Lyon County's Conservation Board, says it was actually jump started by the drought.

"We're on the verge of making more habitat out on the lake, we drew it down 5 foot, we're going to put more habitat piles, we got some more jetties planned, we put in a new boat ramp," Van Otterloo said.

They're asking for your help with fishing and with picking up trash.

"We've cleaned up over 10 barrels of cans, and bottles and things from the last 27 years of garbage that has been thrown, it's kind of been an eye opener," Van Otterloo said.

An example of some of the trash that's been found at the bottom of Lake Pahoja, a can of Crystal Pepsi, it was discontinued in the 1990s.

So the bonus of all this, you can fish to your heart's content.

"It doesn't happen very often, the only time they do that, is when there's a situation like this, where they're going to have a fish kill, what they're trying to do is get people out here and catch fish, and utilize these fish as best we can so we're not wasting them if we kill 'em all," Justin Smith a Park Ranger at Lake Pahoja said.

Lake Pahoja Park Ranger Justin Smith says it's not just an opportunity for avid anglers like himself, but a chance for kids to learn how to fish.

"It'll be fun for people who like to fish, and for people with family and stuff like that, they can come out and kids can catch all the little fish they want and take them home with them," Smith said.

Over the next several years, the lake will be restocked with native fish. So the skills those kids learn will pay off.

"The bright side is, it'll be a better fishery in 5 years, the downside is, we're gonna have to wait 5 years for that to come," Van Otterloo said.

The relaxed fishing rules for the daily bag and minimum length restrictions for Lake Pahoja will run through the winter.  Keep in mind you do need a valid Iowa fishing license.

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