Fishing ban Mississippi River areas

Fishing ban initiated in three Mississippi River areas – DUBUQUE, Iowa State officials will initiate a fishing ban Thursday in three areas on the Mississippi River to reduce the annual mortality rate of a certain fish species.

Areas affected include Dubuque, Bellevue and Clinton. The ban will last through March 15th.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says fisheries biologists believe suspending fishing in those areas will help reduce the mortality rate for a species of fish called the sauger.

Sauger are sharp-toothed olive-gray cylindrical fish that look similar to walleye.

Fish experts have noticed a mortality rate of 80 to 85 percent among sauger and believe it’s because they are injured by winter fishing.

Biologists believe the fish go deeper in the water in winter and when they are caught the pressure changes damage the fish, causing many to die.

Some people in the business of offering fishing from barges in the winter object to the fishing ban.

However, the state believes if the population of sauger and walleye improve, sportsmen will support the move.

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