Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Iowa Department of Natural Resources fish finder website back up

(Radio Iowa) - The popular fish finder site run by the DNR is back up after being changed over to a new provider. Fisheries Bureau spokesman, Jeff Kopaska, says the site includes information on species and numbers the fisheries staff gather during their surveys on lakes, rivers and streams.

"We've actually updated our data collection and we are using tablets out in the field and updating all the data electronically while we are out there. We just upload it to the cloud and make that data available to the public," Kopaska says.

He says it gives you the size and weight of fish by species.

"If you are interested in going bluegill fishing and you want to know which lakes we caught the most eight to ten-inch bluegills in last year -- you can compare all of the lakes that have fish from that size category," Kopaska explains. "So, it's a pretty useful tool for anglers."

He says there's a lot of interest from anglers in this info.

"Since April of 2018 when the site went down I get emails about every week asking when its going to be back up," according to Kopaska. "We've finally got it to a point where we are happy with it and feel that it is good information for the public, and we've made it available to them once again."

Kopaska says it provides good short-term information for anglers looking for fish -- but the D-N-R uses the info for longer-term management of the fisheries.

"We strive to make data-based decisions and have a solid scientific rationale for what we are doing and why we are doing it," Kopaska says. "You have to have this data and this information available to make decisions on what we should be stocking, if we should be changing any regulations."

Kopaska says the numbers show the overall health of the fisheries are pretty good.

"We have record numbers of fish being Caught. We have high-quality populations in numerous lakes across the state. And the ones that aren't doing as well -- we continue to strive to improve them," he says. "Our overall goal in DNR fisheries is to shorten the time between bites -- and to make each one of those bites count."

You can go to the DNR website at here to find the survey information.

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