January 25, 2021

Outdoor news

SRF FY 21 Third Quarter IUP Updates Approved

The Iowa Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) approved the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) Intended Use Plan (IUP) updates for third quarter of fiscal year 2021 (July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021). The Commission took the action on December 15, 2020 during their teleconference meeting.The IUPs can be viewed on the following webpages:

Clean Water State Revolving Fund

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund

For more information, please contact Theresa Enright, SRF Coordinator, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 515-725-0498 or theresa.enright@dnr.iowa.gov.

Update on Operator Certification Examinations

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Iowa’s drinking water and wastewater operators took proctored, standardized certification exams either at the DMACC Southridge Computer Lab or by appointment at one of the six Iowa DNR Regional Field Offices. Due to the ambiguity of when, and if, these venues will again be open to the public, Iowa DNR is switching to remote proctoring for the examinations.

An operator is able to take a drinking water or wastewater certification exam on any laptop or desktop computer that has a camera and microphone; this does NOT include tablets, iPads, or phones. Once you log in using the link provided by the testing company via email, your browser is frozen; a proctor can see you through the camera; your surroundings are monitored for extra materials or cheating; and the test session is recorded for future reference if there are any cheating suspicions or accusations. The testing company will provide a YouTube Video and live customer support for any technical issues arising during a remote session.

After the pandemic, operators will have two options for exam delivery: remote proctoring and the traditional method of on-line testing at an Iowa DNR Field Office or Community College computer lab.

How does an operator sign up for a remotely proctored exam? To register to take your exam remotely, email the following information to:


Name  Operator ID#

Exam Category and Grade that you have received Iowa DNR approval to sit for. Remember: you must have been issued an IDNR Eligibility Letter prior to registering to take a remote exam.

You will receive an automatic reply from the Iowa DNR confirming our receipt of your request.

Next Step: Watch for an email from the proctoring service: PSI Customer Service (schedule@goamp.com). This email will include the following:

Detailed instructions for exam scheduling and procedure;  A link for the scheduling and rescheduling of your unique exam(s). You will have complete control over this. Remote Proctoring is offered twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week; A tutorial video; and an 800 customer service number you can call anytime, 24/7, with any questions concerning the remote proctoring process or for any technical assistance.

What happens after I complete the remote exam? Upon completion of your exam, the IDNR will receive and process your score.Please allow 48 to 72 business hours to process and mail the letter.

If you receive a passing score: Once the score is processed, the fee can be paid online on the Operator Certification Database (fastest method), or you can wait for your “pass” letter in the mail and then mail the letter and payment back to the IDNR.

If you need to retest: Once the score is processed, you can pay the retest fee online on the Operator Certification Database (fastest method), or you can wait for your retest letter in the mail and then mail the letter and payment back to the IDNR. Once you have paid your retest fee, you may begin the process of scheduling your retest by following the directions shown above.

This information is also posted on IDNR’s Operator Certification webpage.

Please direct any questions to Beth Feilmeier at elizabeth.feilmeier@dnr.iowa.gov or (515) 725-0463.

Operator Certification: Continuing Education Opportunities

The IDNR Drinking Water and Wastewater Treatment Operator Certification Program is aware that conferences, workshops, and in person training was postponed or cancelled earlier this year.However, there is still a plethora of quality online and virtual training being created and offered through our community colleges, state industry associations, national industry associations, EPA, and other state industry partners. All operators should continue to monitor their emails and the Training Calendar on the Iowa DNR Operator Certification Database. Look at the calendar often, as there are new opportunities posted throughout the week.

Please contact Laurie Sharp at (515) 725-0284 with any questions.

A note on Iowa DNR and COVID-19

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is working with state and local officials to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and has transitioned employees to work remotely. DNR offices are closed to the public during this time and only available by appointment.

In another effort to further reduce the spread of COVID-19, the DNR is encouraging the use of the online services for submitting applications, payments and other daily tasks and interaction with DNR staff.

Full list of DNR’s online services Up-to-date information on DNR services, facilities and events impacted by COVID-19

Technical information for regulated businesses in regards to COVID-19

We thank you for your patience and flexibility during this time. If you need to contact DNR staff, you can reach them by email or phone or by calling 515-725-8200.


Lake Belva Deer

Warm weather and strong winds took away a lot of the ice.

Lake Darling

After Monday’s (Dec. 21) warm weather and strong wind, there is lots of open water for the geese to enjoy.

Lost Grove Lake

Open water and unsafe ice.

For more information on the above lakes, call the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430.

Central Park Lake

The lake is partially ice covered.

Coralville Reservoir

The lake has been drawn down to winter pool of 683.3 feet and is partially ice covered.

Diamond Lake

The lake is partially ice covered.

Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)

Unsafe ice conditions.

Lake Macbride

The lake is partially ice covered.

Pleasant Creek Lake

The lake is partially ice covered.

Wapsipinicon River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)

The boat ramp at Pinicon Ridge is closed for the winter. The backwaters have unsafe ice.

There is no safe ice in the Lake Macbride District. Most bodies of water are only partially frozen and existing ice is unsafe. For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615.

Hawthorn Lake

Skim ice is starting to form. Target submerged habitat once the ice thickens up.

Lake Miami

Skim ice is forming on the cold nights. Be prepared to find the cedar tree piles for the best success once the ice is safe to fish on.

Lake Sugema

Once the ice is safe to fish on, target underwater structures for the best success.

Lake Wapello

Skim ice is forming along the shorelines and bays. The cedar tree piles will be the best place to target once the ice is safe to fish on.

Ottumwa Park Pond South (Trout Pond)

Skim ice is covering the pond, but is not thick enough to fish on. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout.

Rathbun Reservoir

The current lake level is 904.03 msl. Recreation pool is 904 msl. The lake is still open water with a little skim ice forming in the bays and along the shorelines. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels, so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry equipment before transporting to another waterbody. The Corps of Engineers have pulled their boat docks and their campgrounds and ramps are closed. State owned ramps are still open.

Red Haw Lake

Skim ice is forming on cold nights. Be prepared to find the submerged structure for the best success once the ice is safe to fish on.

Very few anglers have been out. Skim ice is forming on smaller water bodies and around the shorelines. The district includes Appanoose, Davis, Lucas, Mahaska, Monroe, Wapello, Wayne and Van Buren counties. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.


Big Creek Lake

On Dec. 22, Big Creek was mostly covered with thin ice; unsafe ice for fishing.

Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)

Walleye- Fair: Cast jigs baited with shad imitating plastics or shiners below the Red Rock dam. Wiper (Hybrid Striped Bass) - Fair: Cast jigs baited with shad imitating plastics or shiners below the Red Rock dam.

As of Dec. 22, most waterbodies in Central Iowa were frozen over with thin ice unsafe for ice fishing. More fishing reports will resume when ice conditions support angling. For more information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, call Ben Dodd at 641-891-3795 or Andy Otting at 515-204-5885.

Lake Anita

Lake Anita historically has provided good panfishing in the winter. Expect good bluegill fishing; you will need to sort for larger crappies.

Lake Manawa

The dredging project has provided excellent habitat to find fish this winter. Expect good numbers of black and white crappies plus good walleye numbers.

Littlefield Lake

Fisheries surveys from 2020 show good fish populations in Littlefield. Be prepared to find the cedar tree piles in the lake for best success through the ice.

Meadow Lake

Meadow will be a good ice fishing destination this year. It has a good population of 8-inch bluegill and 9-inch black crappie.

Prairie Rose Lake

Prairie Rose is a top pick for lakes with large bluegills. It also has a small population of large black crappies.

Viking Lake

Viking has a very good crappie population that will provide good fishing this winter.

Unsafe ice conditions. For more information on lakes in the Southwest District call the Cold Springs office at 712-769-2587.