Missouri Valley, Iowa -DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) begins its fishing, boating, and mushroom season on Friday, April 15, 2011.
Anglers need either an Iowa or Nebraska fishing permit and are reminded that minimum length limits and creel limits are in effect. Go here to buy a Nebraska permit: https://ngpc-permits.ne.gov/NGPC-PS/faces/public/welcome
Due to high water in 760-acre DeSoto Lake, only the Middle Boat Ramp will be open. The other boat ramps may reopen if conditions improve. Boating speeds are limited to no-wake, not to exceed five-miles-per-hour, to protect the shoreline from excessive erosion. Motorized boats are allowed throughout DeSoto Lake to allow fishing access, but a “no-anchor zone” is located at the aeration system in the lake, and marked with buoys.
Designated mushroom picking areas will be open April 15 and April 18 – May 31. A map showing these areas is available at refuge entrances. The central portion of the refuge is closed to all public use to provide sanctuary for nesting birds and white-tailed deer during the fawning period. On April 16 and 17, the refuge will be closed to mushroom hunting during a special youth turkey hunt. Please be aware that in the event of a government shutdown DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge will be closed to all public access and use.
Check our website, http://www.fws.gov/midwest/desoto/, for updates on boat ramp openings as well as summer public programs and activities. Like us on Facebook, search for DeSoto and Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuges.
An entrance permit is required for all vehicles. The daily entrance fee for private vehicles is $3.00. Permits may be obtained at the pay stations near the entrances or at the Visitor Center. The charge for commercial vans and buses is $20, or $30 if 21 or more people are aboard. Annual permits, including the $15 DeSoto Refuge Pass, can be obtained at the visitor center.
DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge is located 25 miles north of Omaha, Nebraska on U.S. Highway 30, between Missouri Valley, Iowa and Blair, Nebraska. The visitor center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, except federal holidays. For more information contact 712/642-4121 or look us up on the web at http://midwest.fws.gov/desoto or email the refuge at firstname.lastname@example.org