Ice Melt Continues on Iowa Lakes And Water Levels Continue to Fall

DNR logoStorm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
As of Wednesday, Storm Lake was still partially frozen, including all three boat ramps. Some reports of anglers fishing from shore, but no reports of walleye being caught. Lake level is 32 inches below crest.




Swan Lake
Swan Lake is free of ice. Lake level is 43 inches below crest.


Big Spirit Lake
Walleye season is closed until May 4. Ice is going out. Bullhead – No Report: As the ice continues to go out and the water starts warming look toward the grade for some early bullhead action.


East Okoboji Lake

Walleye season is closed until May 4. Channel Catfish – No Report: Once the ice has all melted look for some early season cat action on a few of the drop offs and rock piles in the lake.


West Okoboji Lake

Walleye season is closed until May 4. Ice fishing is not advised as the ice is going out.

With the sun gaining more power, the ice continues to weaken with some areas beginning to honeycomb making all but foot travel unsafe. For more information contact the Spirit Lake Hatchery at 712-336-1840

Sports Schedule For Friday April 5th

trackArea track teams gather at Hesla Field in Hull for the Western Christian track and field invite Friday.




Coed Track

Sheldon, Boyden Hull Rock Valley, George Little Rock, Okoboji, Sibley Ocheyedan and Sioux Center at the Western Christian invite.

Competition begins at 4:30.


Iowa Boat Registrations Are Due April 30th

DNR logoIowans will be registering about 235,000 boats between now and April 30, using a new system that has a new look and includes registration information, title and decals on one document.

Boat owners should bring their current registration when they renew as the new system requires additional information, much of which is on the current registration including make, model, model year, hull identification number, boat length, width and more.

Boat registrations are handled by Iowa’s county recorders in the county where the individual resides. Nonresidents who register their boat in Iowa will go to the county where the boat is primarily used.

Owners who purchased a boat from a private seller and is registering it in their name should bring the signed registration and to make sure the title is signed over to them, if applicable.

“Our recorders are familiar with the new system so the registration process should go smoothly, provided owners bring their current registration with them,” said Susan Stocker, boating law administrator and education coordinator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Boat registrations are good for three years. The fees go to support water trails, navigation enforcement, aquatic invasive species, boater education and safety, and for the new registration system.

Outdoor Track Season Underway With Tuesday’s Dutch Relays

trackThe MOC Floyd Valley Dutch Relays were held Tuesday at the Northwestern College track complex. The Class A boys team title went to Spirit Lake. The Class B title went to Okoboji. In the girls competition host team MOC Floyd Valley was the team winner in Class A with Okoboji taking the Class B girls title.

Boys Class A
Spirit Lake 171
LeMars 153
Storm Lake 73
MOC Floyd Valley 62
Unity 52
Sheldon 41

The LeMars relay teams had a strong day winning the 4 x 100, 400 and 800 meter relays along with the shuttle hurdle relay.

Top finishes for Sheldon included a second place finish for Chris Balster in the long jump with a distance of 19 feet 4.5 inches. Eli Engebritson of LeMars went 19-6. the Orab 4 by 200 meter relay team finished second in 1:37.81. Spirit Lake was the winner at 1:37.78. In the shuttle hurdle relay Sheldon was third in a time of 1:06.51. LeMars won the event in 1:02.45.

Boys Class B
Okoboji 168
South O’Brien 115
Western 96
Sibley Ocheyedan 69
Gehlen 58
Hartley Melvin Sanborn 43

Okoboji won the 4 x 400, 800 meter relays along with the 1600 medley relay. Sibley Ocheyedan won the 4 x 200 and shuttle hurdle relays.

Girls Class A
MOC Floyd Valley 140
Western 136
Spirit Lake 123
Unity 101
Sioux Center 61
Storm Lake 22

Alexis Conaway of Unity won the high jump at 5-8.5 breaking her own state record of 5-7.5 set in May of 2011. Conaway won the 3A state title last year with a jump of 5 feet 5 inches. Brooke Wolterstorff had a strong day winning the 100 and 200 meter dashes and the Wolfpack finished first in the 4 x 100, 200 and 400 meter relays.

Girls Class B
Okoboji 145
Sibley Ocheyedan 122
Gehlen 107
South O’Brien 90
HMS 89

Leah Seivert of Sibley Ocheyedan won both the 1500 and 3000 meter runs. The Lady Generals finished first in the 4 x 200 and the 1600 medley relay. South O’Brien won both the 4 x 800 and the sprint medley relay.


Project to Monitor Iowa’s Wildlife on Public Lands

DNR logoSeasonal technicians are visiting public lands across Iowa in an effort to monitor Iowa’s wildlife populations. The Iowa Multiple Species Inventory and Monitoring Program (MSIM) is an ongoing research project started in 2006 and is a joint effort between the Iowa DNR and Iowa State University (ISU).

The goals of the project are to gather information on the population trends and distribution of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, dragonflies, and butterflies.

Tyler Harms, MSIM biologist working jointly for ISU and the DNR, said this project is a critical part of the effort to conserve Iowa’s wildlife.

“Information collected as part of MSIM will not only allow us to annually assess the status of various wildlife species, but will also provide information to guide habitat management decisions to benefit those species,” Harms said.

Iowa’s MSIM program was modeled after a similar program the U.S. Forest Service uses.

“Sharing similar methodologies will allow Iowa’s information to be compared to data collected elsewhere within the United States,” said Karen Kinkead, wildlife diversity program coordinator for the DNR.

Stephen Dinsmore, Associate Professor at Iowa State University and co-principal investigator for the project, is excited about the information MSIM will provide to guide habitat management on public lands.

Approximately 75 public properties across Iowa will be surveyed for nine wildlife groups from April 1 – October 31. In addition, habitat characteristics will be measured on each property in order to relate those characteristics to the wildlife present on the property.

Since 2006, MSIM has surveyed nearly 300 public properties, found 630 of the 1,006 wildlife species currently known to Iowa, and added six new species to the state’s list of dragonflies.

“The project is funded through 2014, but our goal is to continue this monitoring effort far into the future,” said Harms.

MSIM is one of only a few similar projects implemented in other states and will provide information for natural resource professionals to effectively conserve Iowa’s wildlife for future generations.



Aaron Van Wyhe And Colin Pennings to Join Northwestern Football Program

Northwesstern logoAaron Van Wyhe of Ireton and Colin Pennings of Orange City have signed letters of intent to continue their football careers at Northwestern College next year.

Van Wyhe is a 5’10”, 230-pound fullback and linebacker who played three years for Unity Christian High School. An all-district selection, Van Wyhe rushed for 425 yards and three touchdowns his senior year. He averaged nearly five yards per carry and also registered 59 tackles and one interception on defense. An honor roll student, Van Wyhe plans to major in Athletic Training and will also play baseball at Northwestern. He is the son of Randy and Glenda.

“Aaron is a big, physical fullback who blocks well,” commented head coach Kyle Achterhoff. “He will add size and a true blocking threat in our running back position group. It is great to have Aaron join the Red Raider football family.”
Pennings is a 6’1”, 230-pound offensive/defensive lineman who played two years for the MOC-Floyd Valley High School football team. Pennings helped pave the way for a rushing offense that gained 1,356 yards and scored 14 touchdowns last year. On defense, Pennings registered 37 tackles, seven for a loss, and one sack. A member of the honor roll and National Honor Society, Pennings is the son of Craig and Leah. He will also play baseball at Northwestern.

“Colin is a young man who is familiar with the Red Raider football program and tradition,” commented Achterhoff. “It is fun to know that he is going to be part of our future. Colin will add good depth along our defensive line.”