For the 15th time since it became a public fishery, Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake in Ames will be stocked with rainbow trout.
The biannual event is scheduled for around noon Friday, Nov. 16, at the north end of the lake.
Around 1,000 hatchery-raised trout from Manchester will be stocked as the Iowa Department of Natural Resources continues its popular and ever-growing Urban Trout Program. The program included only three locations in 2001, eight in 2006, 15 in 2011 and 17 in 2016. During that time Ada Hayden has become one of the most popular sites, especially during the winter stocking, with large crowds of 200 or more anglers routinely showing up when the DNR’s fish truck comes to town.
Keff Kopaska, of the DNR’s Fisheries Bureau, said fishing pressure on the state’s urban winter trout fisheries in 2016 increased to 99,444 from 70,202 trips in 2011, 48,868 trips in 2006 and 12,920 trips in 2001. Trips to urban winter trout fisheries increased to 13.8 percent of all trout angler trips in 2016 from 12 percent in 2011 and 9 percent in 2006, he added.
“Around 7,850 trips were taken to Ada Hayden to fish for trout in 2016,” Kopaska said. “Ada Hayden was visited by 2.9 percent of Iowa trout anglers, it accounted for 1.1 percent of all trout angler trips in 2016, and individual anglers fishing Ada Hayden took 4.4 trips to Ada Hayden to fish for trout in 2016.”
Last year, Kopaska said, about 14,000 individuals, or 30 percent of all trout anglers, “purchased their license specifically for fishing at an urban trout location.”
To fish for trout at Ada Hayden, anglers need a valid fishing license and a trout stamp. The daily limit is five trout per licensed angler with a possession limit of 10. Children age 15 or younger can fish for trout with a properly licensed adult, but they must limit their catch to one daily limit. The child can purchase a trout fee, which will allow them to catch their own limit.
At urban trout stockings, the DNR usually has a law enforcement officer on site to check licenses.
Trout anglers frequently use in-line spinners, small blade-style baits, small crankbaits, minnows, wax worms, small worms, jigs, powerbait, corn and flies.
Todd Burras can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.