• Wed September 15 2010
  • Posted Sep 16, 2010
New Cedar Rapids Park Opens September 18. The Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Department will host a Grand Opening celebration of the new Prairie Park Fishery, 2125 Otis Rd SE, on September 18. The 9:00a.m. ribbon cutting ceremony will be followed by refreshments, fishing, a nature hike, a casting contest, kayaking and canoeing demonstrations, and a pop can fishing rod craft. Prairie Park Fishery provides opportunities for fishing, ice fishing, picnicking, paddle sports, scuba diving and geocaching. The park is ADA accessible and a 1.7 hard surface trail loops around the 65 acre lake offering excellent views for hikers, walkers, bicyclists and bird watchers. The fishery conforms to State DNR Lake Fishing Regulations. Boat power is limited to electric trolling motors. No speed boats, jet skis, or sailboats are allowed. Dogs must be leashed at all times. Prairie Park Fishery is open year-round, seven days per week, from 6:00 a.m. to dusk (one half hour after sunset). At exactly one half hour after sunset the gates will be locked. Any vehicles left inside the park will remain there until the following morning when the park reopens. This new park was previously owned by the Martin Marietta Company and served for more than 50 years as a quarry. When sand mining of the quarry was finished, the company very generously donated the property with the lake to the City for use as a nature/recreation site. A REAP grant provided the initial seed money for the park. By Iowa standards, the lake at the fishery is deep with unusually clear water. It includes two basins. The larger east basin is about 30 feet deep with steeply sloping banks. The water stratifies in winter and summer, restricting aquatic life in deeper areas. This is a very atypical Iowa lake and anglers will find most success fishing shallow benches that extend out into the basin and along drop offs. The west basin is smaller and shallower. It is more typical of Iowa lakes and has much fish structure. This basin will generally provide better angling than the deep water areas. A boat ramp is near this basin. The lake is most effectively fished from a canoe, kayak or rowboat. Shore anglers should be cautious about steep banks, but there is good access to parts of the lake from the shoreline. Fish species present include walleyes, bluegills, black crappies, large and smallmouth bass, white and yellow bass, channel catfish, and an array of rough fish. Because the lake connects to the river during flood stage, any fish species present in the river may live in the lake. In general, large mouth bass, bluegills, and crappies are most common in shallow water near woody structures. Small mouth bass are most common along rocky shore areas and white and yellow bass tend to cruise over deeper water. For more information about the Prairie Park Fishery, contact Parks Operations 286-5760 or go to

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