Iowa’s trout program consists of 48 catchable rainbow, brown and brook trout fisheries, seven special trout fisheries, three winter trout fisheries, and 28 put-and-grow trout fisheries. Most of these must be maintained by stocking because successful natural reproduction of trout occurs in a few Iowa waters. Six trout fisheries, however, offer excellent angling opportunities for catching wild, naturally sustaining brown or brook trout populations. These various types of trout fisheries have been developed to enable the trout angler to select the types of trout fishing preferred.
On your next outing in Northeast Iowa, plan to visit one of Iowa’s three trout production facilities-Manchester, Decorah, or Big Springs. The grounds to each facility are open to the public year round from
sunrise to sunset. Fisheries employees are present during office hours to answer your questions pertaining to all of Iowa’s fisheries programs as well as current trout stream conditions.
A pond at Big Springs Hatchery, near Elkader, has been specially designated as a fishing pond for kids ages 12 and under. The pond has easy access and is stocked weekly to provide young anglers with a likely chance of reeling in their first trout. All kids must be accompanied by a properly licensed adult angler. Additional rules are posted at the pond.