UPDATE 1/25/2018: Iowa River Ice Fishing Derby POSTPONED

Hardin County Conservation has decided to postpone the Iowa River Ice Fishing Derby because of poor and continually deteriorating ice conditions this week. The event has been tentatively moved to February 10th, from 7 am to 12 pm, at Dougan’s Landing in Iowa Falls. Stay up to date on event changes by following our Calkins Nature Area and Hardin County Conservation Facebook pages.

On February 10th, bring the family out for a fun day of fishing on the ice! Anglers will have the opportunity to catch crappies, walleyes, northern pike, and more in this unique fishery. Those who participate in the event may also win door prizes in a raffle following the fishing event. If anglers catch the biggest fish or the best of three panfish, they will receive a larger prize for their superior angling skills!

There is NO preregistration for this event, it is open to all ages, and it is free of charge for participants under the age of 16 (anglers under 16 must be with licensed adult). Anglers 16 years of age or older must pay a $10 entry fee.
Dougan’s Landing is a boat ramp in Iowa Falls located ¼ mile southeast of the Iowa Falls Public Library on River Street.

If you have any questions, contact us at 641-648-9878 or or by email.


Hardin County Conservation will be hosting the 1st Annual Iowa River Ice Fishing Derby on January 27th from 7 am-12 pm. To participate, you must have your 2018 Iowa Fishing License, unless you are under the age of 16. If you are younger than 16 and you would like to participate in the event, state law requires that you bring a LICENSED adult with you.

Many of you saw plans for this event last year, but a warm snap of weather deteriorated ice conditions rapidly in the month of January. We are revamping the event and hoping for more consistent weather this year! This year's derby will feature dozens of ice fishing/outdoor related prizes that were generously donated by local businesses. Jigs, ice rods, reels, pliers, heaters, window decals, slime towels, and many more awesome prizes are available via raffle at the conclusion of the tournament. If you or your business are interested in sponsoring this event, please contact Hardin County Conservation's Interpretive Program Assistant, Davis Horton, at 641-648-9878. We would love to put your logo on our flier and we can always use more outdoor prizes for the kids!!!!

For those who are not familiar with the Iowa River, many fish species overwinter in the Iowa Falls area. Pike, walleye, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, white crappie, black crappie, and bluegill can all be targeted through the ice in the Iowa Falls area. We highly recommend pre-fishing so you understand the behavior of fish in the river. It is a unique fishery with many trophy class fish, but ice fishing for these lethargic creatures can be difficult. Remember to only walk on SAFE ICE when fishing the river. If ice conditions become unsafe the week prior to the event, the event will be cancelled. Be sure to follow our Facebook page to keep updated on sponsors, new prizes, and ice conditions as we draw closer to the end of January. If you have questions about the event, please refer to the image below or contact Hardin County Conservation staff members at 641-648-9878.

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Thanks everyone!

(Fish graphics courtesy of CrazyGrafix and Shutterstock)