2,000 trout coming to Sand Lake

T-R FILE PHOTO - The bi-annual Sand Lake trout release usually draws a crowd of anglers of all ages to wet a line.

Local anglers who enjoy catching or cooking trout may want to dust off their fishing gear and plan a trip to Sand Lake Recreation Area at noon Oct. 19.

The lake will welcome 2,000 new rainbow trout to its waters. The trout will be transported from the Manchester Hatchery in northeast Iowa by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

“It’s part of the DNR’s urban trout stocking program,” said Marshall County Conservation Director Mike Stegmann. “It’s a way to spread out that resource so you don’t have to travel to northeast Iowa, to the trout streams.”

Northeast Iowa’s unique geography includes coldwater springs that support trout year-round. Stegmann said most other Iowa waters, including Sand Lake, get too warm during the summer to support trout.

“This is a bi-annual event, it happens every April and October,” he said.

According to the Iowa DNR website, anglers 16 and older must have a valid Iowa fishing license and a trout stamp to fish for or catch trout anywhere in the state. Stegmann said there is usually a conservation officer in the area during the Sand Lake trout stocking.

“The community lakes trout program offers a ‘close to home’ option for anglers across the state to experience trout fishing,” the website read. “They are a great place to take kids to catch their first fish.”

They will make their journey from Manchester to Marshalltown in special, oxygenated tanks aboard a DNR truck. Once at the bank of Sand Lake, the trout will be released through tubes from the tanks to the water or by conservation workers putting nets of fish directly into the lake.

The event usually draws a crowd of men, women and children looking to wet a line.

“Being a weekday, there will be a crowd there. Maybe not so many kids,” Stegmann said. He said the trout stocking this spring drew many children and adults because it was on a Saturday rather than a Friday.

With recent rains, Stegmann said the conservation officials will use caution while stocking the trout and suggested anglers do the same.

“The water levels at Sand lake are exceedingly high right now,” he said. “The places you normally fish may not be accessible.”

Sand Lake supports several other species of gamefish, including walleyes, white bass, largemouth bass, crappie and more. The lake totals 95 acres and has a maximum depth of 35 feet.

Other central- and eastern-Iowa lakes within driving distance set for trout releases this fall are Lake Petocka in Bondurant on Oct. 24, North Prairie Lake in Cedar Falls on Nov. 9. and Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake in Ames on Nov. 16.

For more information on trout fishing in Iowa, visit www.iowadnr.gov/Fishing/Trout-Fishing

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Contact Adam Sodders at

(641) 753-6611 or asodders@timesrepublican.com