ICC will continue to work closely with landowners, non-profit groups, and public agencies to expand public access opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to experience and enjoy our coldwater streams.

For example, since 2017, ICC has worked with other NGO’s and public agencies to expand permanent, public fishing access easements on several streams that were closed to the public or only accessible through a “handshake agreement” between the landowner and the Iowa DNR. Today over 20 miles of coldwater stream with temporary handshake agreements still exist in northeast Iowa, and our work in the years ahead will continue to be focused on helping to convert more of them to permanent public access easements.


  • Rissman Farm Access
    Yellow River, Allamakee County, IA In 2019, the IA DNR purchased an angler access easement on the Yellow River in Allamakee County from the Rissman family, who have farmed the …
  • Bloody Run Creek in Clayton County
    Bloody Run Creek has been recognized as one of Iowa’s Outstanding Waters for its rugged beauty, abundant natural resources, and well established population of wild brown trout.  In 2019, a 165 acre parcel …
  • The North and South Bear Creeks Watershed Endowment Funds
    Warren Shuros grew up on a farm on North Bear Creek a few miles from Highlandville in Winneshiek County.  Whenever he could find time, he would hunt and fish throughout the …
  • North Bear Creek in Winneshiek County
    This well known and strategically located section of North Bear Creek was open to the public for many years through a “handshake agreement” between the owner, Helen Larson, and the …
  • Ten Mile Creek Project
    In 2019, a private land owner agreed to sell a multi-parcel addition to Falcon Springs Wildlife Management Area located between Bluffton and Decorah.  A thirty-two acre parcel included a section of …
  • Streambank Restoration at Decorah Fish Hatchery
    It all started with an idea to improve fish habitat and angler access along Trout Run, a popular fishery just south of Decorah.  It quickly developed into a partnership between the Iowa DNR, Trees Forever, Alliant Energy, Iowa’s Coldwater Conservancy (ICC), Friends of the Decorah Fish Hatchery, and the Iowa Driftless Chapter of Trout Unlimited.  In 2016, Trout Run was the third most popular trout stream in the state
  • Sindelar Wildlife Access at Casey Springs creates new opportunities for education, public access, and trout fishing in Winneshiek County
    Anglers in Winneshiek County now have a new opportunity for trout fishing: Sindelar Wildlife Access. The 17-acre parcel near Decorah was sold to Winneshiek County Conservation by Jim and Wanda Sindelar and their family and contains a half-mile of Casey Springs trout stream.