By Todd Burras
The recent deep-freeze temperatures have surely been welcomed by at least one group of Mid-Iowans: ice anglers.
Two weeks of cold weather have been ideal for making ice on local bodies of water, including Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake in Ames, where the Iowa Department of Natural Resources recently announced it will again restock trout this winter.
The DNR plans to release around 2,100 hatchery-raised rainbow trout at noon Saturday, Feb. 3, at the north end of the lake in Ames. The event is part of the DNR’s Urban Trout Program.
“Obviously this is pending good ice conditions,” said Ben Dodd, a DNR fisheries biologist.
Dodd said that as of mid-week the lake had between 6 and 7 inches of ice on it.
“I’ve got my fingers crossed that ice-building conditions continue,” he said.
The annual winter event has become a hit with local anglers. Dodd said if conditions are right, he expects between 300 and 400 people to show up to fish the day of the release.
To add a little incentive and fun, Dodd said the DNR plans to tag a few fish that if caught will provide the lucky anglers with prizes from JAX Outdoor Gear.
To fish for trout at Ada Hayden, anglers need a valid 2018 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.
Todd Burras can be reached at email@example.com.