Class II Maquoketa River, IA

Maquoketa River Water Trail (Backbone State Park to Mississippi)

The Maquoketa River is a popular and scenic river with relatively consistent flows and excellent fishing. In its headwaters, the Maquotea is a coldwater trout stream containing a trout fishery upstream of the lake at Backbone State Park. A number of watercraft campsites are available offering downriver paddlers opportunities for multiple days on the river. Downstream of the dam at Backbone, it transitions into a walleye-smallmouth bass fishery. The area from the Mon-Maq Dam to Pictured Rocks Park is one of the most heavily paddled sections of river in Iowa. The areas in the vicinity of the Canton Canoe Access are also well known for their remarkable bluffs and wild setting. Anywhere downstream of the Mon-Maq Dam is a “big river” species fishery, including sturgeon, sauger, flathead catfish, and drum. (Iowa DNR)

Section Details

Trip Length Multiday, 129.0 Miles
Fishing Yes
Camping Yes
Manager State, Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Wild & Scenic No
Water Trail Yes
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