Iowa Outdoors - news from the DNR

Staff Writer
Story City Herald


Beat the post holiday winter blues with a change of scenery – spend a weekend out in a state park cabin. Cabin occupancy on weekends in Jan, Feb and March is lower than other times during the year making winter a better time to land a hard-to-get cabin reservation.

Iowa has nine state parks and one resort that offer winter cabin rental. Cabin types and amenities vary from the rustic camper cabins and heated shower building at Honey Creek State Park, to the large house at Springbrook, to cabins at Backbone and the nearby trout streams.

Honey Creek Resort State Park offers cottages where guests can enjoy peace and quiet with all the comforts of the resort’s water park and restaurant.

Cabins are also available at Lake of Three Fires, Pine Lake, Union Grove, Waubonsie, Lake Wapello and Black Hawk state parks.

Go online to to search for cabin availability. If available, last minute reservations can be made by calling the park directly.

Iowa’s state parks are open all year and host winter activities like hiking, cross country skiing, ice fishing, snowmobiling, wildlife watching and more.


The Iowa Department of Natural Resources sells camping coupons for first come/first serve campsites in a state park. A book of seven camping coupons can be obtained for $91 from any state park office or the DNR Central Office in the fourth floor of the Wallace State Office Building, in Des Moines.

Coupon books are valid for one year from the date of purchase.

The coupons are used in lieu of payment by cash or check and save the user approximately $3 per night in a modern campground during the peak season on an electrical site. Be sure to check the amount of the total camping fee for your chosen site to determine if there will be a savings by using the coupon. Use of the coupon for camping on a site with a camping fee less than the value of the coupon will not result in a refund or credit.

The camping coupon does not cover additional fees such as water and sewer hook-up, cable, equestrian or reservation fees.


CEDAR FALLS—Trout stocking scheduled for December 18, at North Prairie Lake will be postponed until January 16, 2015 to allow lake ice conditions to improve.

“The ice covering North Prairie Lake is still too thin to support groups of people, so we will wait another month to complete the trout stocking,” said Dan Kirby, fisheries biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

For more information contact the Iowa DNR Fisheries Office at 563-927-3276.


Iowans may now begin purchasing 2015 resident hunting, fishing and other licenses.

The menu of license options includes the popular Outdoor Combo annual resident hunting/fishing/habitat combo license for $47; the Angler’s Special three-year fishing license for $53; and the Hunter’s Special three-year hunting license with habitat included for $86.

Also available is the Bonus Line option for $12 allowing resident and nonresident anglers to fish with one additional line in addition to the two lines allowed with the regular fishing license.

Iowa hunting and fishing license fees remain unchanged for 2015.

2014 licenses are valid through Jan. 10, 2015.