Winneshiek County Trout Streams

Help make two popular trout streams in Winneshiek County permanently open to the public.

Until recently, two of the state’s highest quality trout streams were conditionally open to the public based on agreements between two property owners and the Iowa DNR. Now, INHF has purchased both properties with plans to transfer them to the Iowa DNR to be used as public recreation area.

Coldwater Creek WMA Addition

North Bear Creek

By purchasing just over 96 acres along Coldwater Creek, INHF hopes to increase the size of the public recreation area by 30 percent and ensure that the stream remains accessible to the public. This area is popular for trout fishing because of its natural supply of brown trout and stock of rainbow and brook trout.

INHF also purchased 113 acres along North Bear Creek. The property is adjacent to North Bear Creek WMA and features native woodland, restored prairie and large rock outcrops. North Bear Creek supports a healthy population of brown, rainbow and brook trout and is one of several trout streams designated an Outstanding Iowa Water, providing a high level of protection from regulated activities that would degrade its quality.

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Management and restoration

With wise land use and restoration, the quality of the water leaving these two properties and flowing into Coldwater and North Bear creeks can be enhanced. Restoration will create additional terrestrial wildlife habitat, but will also benefit aquatic habitat by reducing sedimentation. The properties are consistent with many of INHF’s protection goals: increasing public land acreage, protecting important natural areas (cold water trout stream), buffering existing public areas and building larger protected complexes.