Virtual fishing tournament encourages Iowa walleye anglers to report catches

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is partnering for a third year with MyCatch by Angler’s Atlas to conduct a statewide walleye fishing challenge from March 30-June 30.

This year’s walleye challenge has been expanded to other states across the Midwest and into Canada as part of a larger fisheries research project funded by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. 

The Midwest Walleye Challenge uses the MyCatch mobile app to record the length of a fish. Participating anglers take a picture of the fish on a measuring device using the app. Once the fish is reviewed by the catch team and meets the rules, longest fish and most waterbodies fished entries appear on a live leaderboard.

The mobile app maintains anonymous location data, so anglers’ “secret spots” stay secret. Iowa DNR fisheries biologists receive only generalized lake and river catch data entered to assess and manage walleye populations. Specific catch locations from anglers are not listed on public leaderboards. 

Iowa anglers compete only against other Iowa anglers for biweekly prizes, while all catches from across the Midwest qualify for the grand prize drawings at the end of the event. Grand prizes for 2024 include a week-long fishing trip to Lac Seul Evergreen Lodge in Canada, as well as equipment from companies, such as St. Croix rods.

Anglers can register for the Midwest Walleye Challenge at Additionally, a new option this year offers participants the ability to choose the “free entry” option to qualify for non-cash prizes or pay a fee to qualify for all prizes, including cash payouts.

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