DNR predicts strong fishing season for the Iowa Great Lakes - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

DNR predicts strong fishing season for the Iowa Great Lakes

Spirit Lake, Iowa (KTIV/KUUO) - A really good year. That's how officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources sum up this spring's gillnetting operations.

The Iowa DNR is getting ready for fishing season by tagging fish at nearby lakes.

Joe Larscheid, the DNR's Chief of Fisheries, says they spawned 1,020 quarts of walleye eggs at the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery, well above what's normally collected.

He attributes the success to this year's late ice out.

"What that does is it allows the photo period to match well with water temperatures. So, when the ice went out the second week in April, that's about perfect.  There's a lot of fish, a lot of walleyes and muskies ready to spawn. They were close to shore and we caught a lot fish quickly in our nets", said Larsheid.

Larscheid says that's good news for anglers, "There's a lot of fish out there. We have a tagging operation that comes back.  A good barometer of the population is how many were tagged in previous years.  There's a lot of untagged fish out there we caught in the gillnets this year which really means the populations are high and they're in good shape"..

The walleye season opens the weekend of May 3 and 4 in the Iowa Great Lakes with the annual "Walleye Weekend".

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