Brushy Creek State Recreational Area
2802 Brushy Creek Road, Lehigh
Fishing is a popular activity on Brushy Creek. The creek and Des Moines River have always provided not only scenic beauty but also a challenge to the angler with smallmouth bass and panfish as favorite catches. Several boat ramps and fishing jetties are located around the 690 acre lake. A fishing pier is located on the west side of the lake, north of the beach area. There are fishing tournaments occurring almost every weekend on the lake. Brushy Creek is a no wake lake.
Hunting is one of the most popular activities at Brushy Creek. Every year, hunters pursue a variety of game species ranging from pheasants, quail, rabbits and squirrels to white-tailed deer and wild turkeys. A number of designated parking areas are located throughout Brushy Creek to provide convenient access for the hunter.
Two shooting ranges are located at Brushy Creek. A target range is south of the park office approximately 1/2 mile north of County Rd. D-46. The other is a shotgun range for throwing clay targets located in the northern section of the park. It can be reached by taking 250th Street from Co. Rd. P-73, then turning on Taylor Avenue.
Webster County Conservation Sites
Hunting and trapping is allowed throughout specially designated seasons on the following Webster County Conservation sites: Bob Hay Area, Liska-Stanek Prairie, Lost Acres Wildlife Area, Holiday Creek and Carlson Recreation Area. Good fishing is available year round throughout Webster County. Please refer to each site to determine which ones permit hunting and fishing. The following areas are operated by Webster County Conservation. They can be contacted at (515) 576-4258.
Kennedy Park's Badger Lake
1415 Nelson Avenue, Fort Dodge
Badger Lake located at Kennedy Park is a 53 acre lake providing fishing, kayaking, canoeing and boating. No gas motors are allowed are allowed in Badger Lake.
Becker Wildlife Area-Access to Des Moines River
Madison Avenue, Fort Dodge
The Becker Wildlife Area, donated to the conservation board in 1986, is located on the Des Moines River just south of the county road D-14 bridge, north of Fort Dodge. Native grass and tree plantings were established in the area for the benefit of the wildlife found there, and visitors can use the parking area to gain easy access to the river for fishing and canoeing.
Bob Hay Memorial Conservation Area
Avenue O West, Fort Dodge
Named after an avid local conservationist, this 225-acre tract of land consists of different habitats such as steep wooded ravines, small tributaries, Lizard Creek, bottomland, woodland prairie and cropland. Although approximately 1/3 of this area had been farmed in previous years and marshes had been drained, 2 ponds, restored prairies, tree and shrub plantings, and food plots have since been established. Wildlife is abundant here because of the much-needed space that is available and the variety of habitats that exist. Migrating birds and waterfowl use the ponds as a resting place and nesting area. The area will be preserved as a wildlife habitat area and only hunting, hiking, and bird watching will be allowed. To get to the area, travel ¾ mile off of highway 169 on Ave. O west and park in one of the two parking lots available to the public.
Carlson Recreation Area
3838 River Road, Dayton, Iowa
Located approximately five miles southeast of Dayton, the Carlson recreation Area is 120 acres of natural diversity. From the timbered bluffs to the upland prairie, and to the typically level bottomland, the Carlson Area affords the visitor a chance to explore the scenic Des Moines River Valley. The valley contains the largest remaining tract of woodland, predominately oak and hickory, in north central Iowa, which present an awesome color show in the fall. The Carlson Area is readily accessible via a graveled county road a mile and a half south of the highway 175 Des Moines River bridge, between Dayton and Stratford. Before being destroyed by fire in 1981, the site contained the historically significant Anderson cabin, one of the first built in Webster County. Hikers will find a variety of trails with varying degrees of difficulty, and wildlife photographers will enjoy the abundance of suitable subjects throughout the area. In season, hunters may pursue wild turkey, deer, squirrels, and rabbits among other game species. The angler will find easy access to the Des Moines River.
Deer Creek Area-Access to Des Moines River
Hwy 169, Fort Dodge
Located about eight miles north of Fort Dodge on highway 169 lies the Deer Creek Wildlife Area. This seventeen-acre tract of natural flood plain timber is on the west bank of the Des Moines River and provides an excellent stopover facility for the canoe enthusiast. Wildlife abounds in this rather primitive area with large concentrations of whitetail deer. Fishing on the Des Moines River can provide some nice catches of channel catfish, small mouth bass, and walleye. Hunting is also permitted in season.
Gypsum City OHV Park-Access to fishing ponds
2390 Mill Road, Fort Dodge
Current amenities at the park include an open shelter with picnic tables and a grill, men’s and women’s restrooms, 1.5 mile MX track, two youth tracks, fishing ponds, training area, and 15 miles of trail accommodating ATVs, motorcycles, and ORVs. The park is open year around and the hours of operation are from sunrise to sunset. The park may be closed due to weather conditions or maintenance activity. Be sure to check current and future weather conditions for the area before making plans.
Holiday Creek Area
Peterson Drive, Fort Dodge
Located just one mile east of Coalville, and just north of Highway 20 is the 38-acre Holiday Creek Area. Acquired in 1987, the area is marked by heavily timbered ravines that provide prime habitat for a host of animal life. Hunting is permitted on the site during designated season.
2601 Johnson Avenue, Fort Dodge
Located six miles southwest of Fort Dodge on county road P-51, this mesic native prairie featuring two potholes was purchased by the Conservation Board in 1972. In December 1976 the prairie was dedicated as a Natural Preserve by the State Preserves Advisory board, thus ensuring the integrity of the area for generations to come. The area lies in the central part of the Cary Lobe of the Wisconsin glacial region and harbors some of the richest soils in the world. These soils began development 14,000 year ago and were formed from glacial till, its subsequent erosion and the accumulation of organic materials. The prairie has been relatively undisturbed and it shows in the amount of diversity this prairie exhibits. The spectrum of colors displayed is unmatched and can be seen throughout the entire growing season. Some birds observed on the prairie are the bobolink, blue winged teal, dickcissel, western meadowlark, red winged blackbird, swamp sparrow, and grasshopper sparrow.
Meier Memorial Marsh
170th Street, Manson, Iowa
Acquired by the Conservation Board and dedicated on September 8, 2001, Meier Memorial Marsh was paid for in part by the Conservation Board, Zane Meier donated a portion of it, and the remaining acres were paid for by donations from Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever. With a gentle rolling stream, fishing for small mouth bass and catfish is excellent. With the presence of a re-established wetland, this area provides excellent habitat for pheasants, waterfowl, and deer. Located on the western border of Webster County in the Lizard Creek river bottom, its 35 acres is a beautiful sight for hiking, bird watching, and hunting.
120th Street, Badger, Iowa
This forty-acre tract of land was purchased in 2003 through a partnership with several conservation organizations. Grants were awarded from the Webster County Pheasants Forever, State Council Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and the Iowa DNR Wildlife Habitat Stamp Fund. Two wetlands have been restored as well as the planting of a pristine native prairie mix. A windbreak will be established on the north and west boundaries of the property. This area is open to the public for all types of recreational uses that are compatible with wildlife habitat such as nature study, bird watching and hunting.
Moorland Pond-Fishing Only
1599 Hwy 20, Moorland, Iowa
A borrow pit resulting from the construction of U.S. 20, the Moorland Pond area is 22.5 acres in size and is a popular fishing spot that sports trophy size fish species. The claim to fame for this area is the trumpeter swan restoration project involving a permanent pair of endangered trumpeter swans residing at the area with the hopes of raising cygnets each summer. Located just east of Moorland, the pond is easily accessible.
Shirley Kirchner-Seltz Youth Prairie-Youth Hunting Only
Northwest of Vincent on the south side of Highway C-56
The Shirley Kirchner-Seltz Youth Prairie is an 80 acre parcel of prairie. This area is a mixture of upland and wetland habitats. This prairie is managed for youth hunting only. Hunters under the age of 16 years old may hunt this property either with a licensed (non-weapon carrying) adult or if the youth has taken hunter safety and has a valid hunting license.
Whispering Wings Marsh
Old Hwy 20, Fort Dodge
This recent addition to the Webster County Conservation Board is a natural pothole that has been re-established with the help of the NRCS. Currently there are about 1.5 acres of open water. The remainder of the area consists of about 15 acres of high quality restored prairie and a 1-acre windbreak along the north end. The area provides many of the basic necessities for the life cycles of many types of wildlife. The primary focus is on upland bird and waterfowl production. The area is open to public hunting with the exception of the 200 yard "no shooting zone" around the neighboring house. There is a parking lot in the southeast corner of the property. Whispering Wings Marsh is located 1 1/4 miles east of Fort Dodge on old Highway 20.
The Iowa Outdoors Store is a locally owned and operated business which takes great pride in the hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation lifestyle. Owners and sales staff grew up hunting, fishing, and trapping in Iowa so they can pass their knowledge on to their customers. The Iowa Outdoors Store has a 30+ yard, 3D, indoor archery range located within the store. Open shooting is available on a first come, first serve basis during normal business hours. The Iowa Outdoors Store hosts ladies, men and paper archery leagues as well as numerous tournaments throughout December-March.