Fish Iowa program offers free online ice fishing courses

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DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is offering two free online ice fishing courses to individuals who have little or no ice fishing experience or would like to further improve their current skills.

The courses are geared for participants age 16 and older. Those younger than 16 must have an adult register and participate in the course as well. Space online will be limited, so register right way to ensure your spot.  The events will be held Jan. 12 and Jan. 19 from 6-8 p.m. Use the links below for more information and to begin the online registration process.

Jan. 12: Basic Ice Fishing

Jan. 19: Advanced Ice Fishing

“If you haven’t ice fished at all or are looking to sharpen your skills, then these are the courses for you,” said Barb Gigar, aquatic education coordinator with the Iowa DNR.

The two events online will spend the evening taking all things ice fishing. DNR Fisheries and law enforcement staff with the Iowa DNR will provide the instruction for both courses.

During the Basic Ice Fishing course, participants will learn the basics about ice safety, cold weather fish behavior, choosing a location and basic ice fishing gear and tactics. This course will focus on panfish as the desired species.

The Advanced Ice Fishing course will focus on more advanced skills, such as reading the ice, specialized equipment and fishing shacks, and will explore fish species, such as bass, walleye and trout. Both courses will cover ice-fishing regulations, and participants will have the chance to ask questions to DNR staff.

The program is provided through the Iowa DNR as part of a national effort to recruit, retain and reactivate hunters and anglers due to the overall decline in hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation.

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