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Iowa DNR news for March 8

March 08, 2011 at 01:26 PM

Ice fishing not advised over much of Iowa

Ice conditions are deteriorating over much of Iowa, leaving only the far north counties where ice fishing is still happening.  Even in these northern counties where the ice thickness had been over two feet a few weeks ago, the access to lakes is becoming more difficult as snow melt and runoff is beginning to open some of the edges, and anglers who were once driving on the lake are now walking out.

“There is still ice, even in central Iowa, but I would not advise going out on it,” said Mick Klemesrud, with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “Ice fishing is still going on along about Hwy. 18 and will for another week or two, but the reports I’m hearing are that it is getting more difficult to get on to the ice and that usually means that the season is coming to a close.”

Anglers still going out on the northern lakes should look out for weak spots, black ice and avoid areas with slush or water on top of the ice that could create an unsafe situation.

Hunter Education Classes Offered Prior To Spring Turkey Season

A number of hunter education courses are scheduled across the state over the next few weeks for prospective turkey hunters to become certified in time for the spring season.

Iowa hunters born after Jan. 1, 1972 are required to successfully complete a certified hunter education course in order to purchase a hunting license. Hunter education courses are open to students 12 years old and older.  Students who are 11 years old may take the course, but the certificate of completion will become valid on their 12th birthday.

The DNR has a list of safety education courses online at  Students can search for class type, location, by date or zip code.

Megan Wisecup, recreation safety program supervisor for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, said students who are thinking about taking the course should decide soon.

“Our hunter education courses are a popular afterthought for some of our older students who realize late in the process that they need to get a certificate to buy a license.  The sooner a student decides, the more options they have to get certified,” Wisecup said.

Iowa’s spring turkey hunting begins with a youth only season April 8-10, followed by Season 1, April 11-14; Season 2, April 15-19; Season 3, April 20-26; and Season 4, April 27-May 15.

Upcoming Turkey Hunting & Safety Seminar

Learn basic turkey hunting and scouting techniques, the biology of Iowa’s Eastern Wild Turkey, turkey hunting regulations and hands-on calling and field dressing during a seminar on March 12, at the Annett Nature Center, south of Indianola.

The seminar runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and there is a $10 fee per person that includes lunch. Space is limited so register today.

To register go to or call 515-961-6169.



The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is looking for people who love camping and enjoy working with people to serve as campground hosts for the summer at 17 state parks.

Campground hosts live in state park campgrounds during the busy summer season and work with park staff to ensure that campers have the best experience possible in Iowa’s state parks.

Live-in hosts provide a friendly presence in the campgrounds and act as models for other campers.  They answer questions, direct visitors to points of interest, and perform other light administrative and/or maintenance tasks.

Parks in need of hosts include: Backbone (Delaware County), Bellevue (Jackson County), Blackhawk (Sac County), Clear Lake (Cerro Gordo County), Dolliver (Webster County), Gull Point (Dickinson County), Lake Ahquabi (Warren County), Lake Darling (Washington County), Lake of Three Fires (Taylor County), Ledges (Boone), Maquoketa Caves (Jackson County), Pine Lake (Marion County), Rock Creek (Jasper County), Red Haw (Lucas County), Springbrook (Guthrie County), Volga River (Fayette County), Wilson Island (Pottawattamie County).

Campground hosts receive a free designated campsite with hookups and a host sign, a host cap and name tag, and a recognition picnic at the end of the season. The requirements to be a campground host are the ability to commit to at least four weekends and pass a criminal background check.

For more information, or to apply as a host, go to, or contact Linda King at 515-242-5074 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) .

Shakespeare® “Take Your Parent Fishing” Poster Contest

The Iowa winner of the Shakespeare® “Take Your Parent Fishing” poster contest is Jenna Mort of Orchard Place Campus School, in Des Moines. Mort’s poster has been sent to Shakespeare® to be judged in the national poster contest. The national winner will be announced by Shakespeare® later this month.

This winter Shakespeare®, a national fishing tackle company, in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, hosted the poster contest. The contest launches Shakespeare’s® new in-school fishing program encouraging family fishing experiences.  The nationally winning poster will be used in the program’s promotions.

Iowa had the highest number of schools registered in the nationwide contest.  Each of the 19 participating Iowa schools chose one winning poster to submit to the DNR for judging.

“All of the entries were creative and truly exemplified the “Take Your Parent Fishing” theme,” said Barb Gigar, DNR aquatic education coordinator.

The 1st Runner Up of the Iowa poster contest is Audrey Fisher from English Valley School, and the 2nd Runner Up is Tyler Vermazen from Central Lee Middle School.  The three honorable mentions are MycKenzie Blanchard from Aplington-Parkersburg Schools, Amanda Dedrick from Vinton Shellsburg Middle School and Tessa Howerzyl from Sully Christian School.

Congratulations to all of the students who participated.

Every student who submitted a poster will receive a prize package from the Aquatic Education Program of the Iowa DNR.  All posters will be displayed on the DNR website, and the Fish Iowa! Facebook® page at:


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