The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is seeking public comment as it considers presenting a proposal to the Iowa Legislature next year that would change Iowa code by re-defining the definition of bait and limit an angler when trolling and bait casting to one hook on each of the trolling spoons or artificial baits when used on one line.
The proposal to re-define the definition of bait would specifically identify what types of bait an angler may use. Included in the definition is a clear recognition of what live fish may be used as bait. The proposal would continue to allow anglers to use the baits that are most commonly used, but would no longer allow the use of any live fish that is not listed as bait.
The proposal is being discussed after an inconsistency was found in Iowa code language in determining the legality of the Alabama rig, also known as the Umbrella rig. The proposal to limit an angler when trolling and bait casting to one hook on each of the trolling spoons or artificial baits when used on one line will correct the inconsistency and make the Alabama rig illegal. One hook includes all hooks that are attached as a part of an artificial bait or lure.
The DNR will be accepting comments on the proposal until July 31. Written comments can be sent to Martin Konrad, Iowa DNR Fisheries Bureau, Wallace State Office Building, 502 E. 9th St. , Des Moines, 50319, by e-mail to martin.konrad(at sign)dnr.iowa.gov or by fax at 515-281-6794. Those would like to relay their comments orally are asked to call 515-281-6976 or visit Bureau on the fourth floor of the Wallace Building.
The DNR is also hosting three public meetings where input may be given, the closest of which will be held at 1 p.m. July 27 at the Fisheries Bureau at the Wallace Building, 502 E. 9th St. in Des Moines. Other meetings are set for July 24 in Toddville in Linn County and on July 30 in Spirit Lake in Dickinson County.