Ice fishing for a good cause - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Ice fishing for a good cause


INDEPENDENCE (KWWL)-- Sunshine and warmer temperatures are making it feel a bit more like spring than winter outside.  But in Independence, a group of people still spent Sunday ice fishing for a good cause.

"You know, it's winter time.  You can either sit at home and complain about it, or you can get outdoors and enjoy it and have fun.  It's a beautiful day! And ice fishing's a lot of fun.  So here we are," said ice fisherman Nate Whited.

And believe it or not, despite the warmer weather the past few days, the conditions for ice fishing are still pretty good.  There's an even layer of snow on top, and the ice is still around 20 inches thick.

But Sunday's sunshine certainly made being out on the ice much more enjoyable for the nine teams that participated in the first ever fishing derby at Heartland Acres in Independence.  It was the first time Heartland's Swan Lake has even been opened to the public for fishing.

"We do want tot take advantage of the beautiful grounds we have here.  There are lots of opportunities going on not only to teach people about agriculture, but also this is our local farm pond," said Craig Johnson, Heartland Acres executive director.

Teams paid an entry fee to fish, and the proceeds will help pay for ongoing research and future improvements to Heartland, which could include the addition of things like park benches around the lake area.

"There's always been rumors that this has held some really great fish and some really good fishing.  It's a one shot deal, but it's also nice that the money's being raised here to help out Heartland Acres.  So it's just a good deal all the way around," Whited said.

And since the first fishing event was a success, Heartland might just be open to holding events like it again in the future.

In addition to raising money for lake improvements, Heartland Acres will also donate a portion of the money raised from the fishing derby to the local food bank.

KWWL Reporter:  Kera Mashek

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