Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Natural Resource Ecology and Management

First Advisor

Joseph E. Morris


Waning fishing license sales over several decades has provided an impetus for reconnecting with Iowa's 64% urban majority and a modern angler unable or unwilling to travel great distances to fish. One result has been the recent urban fisheries assessments and improvements in Iowa, active in some form for nearly a decade. The goal of the current state project is to establish sustainable fishery resources for Iowa's urban areas. A cooperative effort between the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Iowa State University focused on assessing a nine-county area in central Iowa from 2010 to 2014. The study discovered 153 sites via remote sensing and reduced that to 23 sites in four of the original nine counties by focusing on ponds owned by cooperative and communicative municipalities. A site selection matrix was developed to further prioritize these sites to focus time and funding on a limited number of ponds. Aspects of abiotic and biotic pond attributes and associated management techniques were incorporated, including: social, site amenity, watershed, water quality, vegetation, pond construction, and fishery features. Enhancement and preservation of existing, well-functioning resources was emphasized to best maximize return on investment of labor and capital. The top five sites were chosen to receive more focused management recommendations. These five highly ranked, priority urban fisheries provide many recreation opportunities for a wide range of communities. This thesis explores the process of evaluating all of these sites, creating a rubric with which to grade them, and a statistically justified ranking system to prioritize them.


Copyright Owner

Steven J. Konrady



File Format


File Size

137 pages