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best trout streams in iowa

Submitted by on Wednesday, 27 January 2021No Comment

. Information / Records Requests There is a good trail all along this section of the stream. The width of the river combined with the surrounding landscape offers something very few Iowa trout streams can – the ability to forget worries about the backcast, or even practice a 50-foot cast. Also nearby on upper Bloody Run, the large spring flowing out of Spook Cave provides the unusual opportunity to take a subterranean boat tour. According to Kalishek, "Waterloo Creek is one of the best brown trout streams in Iowa, with consistent hatches." This unique corner of the Upper Midwest, known as the Driftless Region, includes northeast Iowa, southeast Minnesota, southwest Wisconsin, and a part of northwest Illinois. Then, on a perfect spring evening, the sun finally sank behind the surrounding bluffs. As I nursed my beer and marveled at the bugs, I contemplated the next morning's drive home. The banks in this area are not too high, so fishing from shore is possible. Streams vanish into bedrock, only to gush full-blown from cliffside caves miles away. Waterloo Creek. Other large, brownish-gray and light-colored mayflies sporadically emerging regionally through late summer include Isonychia, Potamanthus, and Ephoron in sizes 10 to 16. Perfect for beginners Grannis Creek , Fayette County – running through both public and private property open to fishing only, Grannis Creek empties into the Volga River a few miles downstream of the Volga River State Recreation Area . Headwaters often begin in agricultural uplands along the valley perimeters. Throughout the season, nymphs like the Prince, Pheasant Tail, or Hare's Ear (#14-20) perform a yeoman's service. Use nightcrawlers, plastics, spinners, and jigs in large pools and along bank hides. Stream access is fairly easy for anglers with limited mobility. Winneshiek County The creeks are scattered through nine counties draining into the Mississippi River upstream from the Great River Road, from the Minnesota border to south of Dubuque. Adding additional complexity, the region marks the intersection between Western prairie and Eastern hardwood forest, making it a bio-geographical crossroads. Much of the stream loops through the French Creek Wildlife Management Area, which provides angler parking areas and camping. Venture into Bellevue to enjoy the small-town charm of a Mississippi River community. Tributaries are perfect for fly fishing." Completing the late spring/early summer mayfly extravaganza are periodic sightings of Stenonema, Stenacron, and Ephemera mayfly species known as March Browns, Grey Foxes, Ginger Quills, Light Cahills, and Brown Drakes. In or below the surface film, an RS2, CDC emerger variation, or small Pheasant Tail draw hits. Floating lines usually suffice. The Highlandville area has over 1,000 acres of state owned public hunting land. To cover more bases, add a CDC emerger or Rusty Spinner dropper. According to the DNR, 25 years ago only six streams in the area supported naturally reproducing trout. North and South Bear streams have been ranked the #1 and #2 streams in the state and provide some of the best trout fishing in Iowa. Dozens of conservation projects were implemented by Civilian Conservation Corps men laboring for a dollar a day, work that often remains viable. This country has some of the best trout fishing in the world. 9 talking about this. Touching corners of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois, the Driftless Region is home to a unique landscape, thousands of miles of public clean and cold streams, and countless trout … S_outheastern Minnesota’s Trout Run is a classic Driftless Region spring creek, filled with thousands of brown trout per mile. 4.2 out of 5 stars 3. This particular section of the stream is some of the best trout fishing in the midwest, and is heavily stocked with Rainbow and Brown Trout. Most trout are pan-size, but larger bruisers aren't unusual. The massive river is lined with venerable towns like Lansing, Harpers Ferry, Marquette/McGregor, Guttenberg, and Dubuque tucked beneath 500-foot bluffs. Bass are spooky and challenging. The best way to find out for sure is to grab a fly rod and make a trip to any of the multitude of trout streams in the state. About 105 coldwater trout streams await anglers in ten northeast Iowa counties. Iowa's natural resources plates include the state bird and flower, pheasant, eagle, buck and a Brook trout. keep their own limit of trout, they only need to purchase the trout fee. I can't promise the same seminal events every visit, but I can guarantee two beautiful creeks with great water, willing browns, and abundant access. There is additional public land upstream, part of the state's Bloody Run Wildlife Management Area, where anglers can hike up a railway winding through the forested valley to find solitude and access the special-regulations reach. Iowa has over 100 miles of trout wa­ Use live bait or artificial presentations. Use jigs, spinners, prepared bait, and … 9) Trout River, 5 miles southeast of Decorah –  a short walk from the parking lot will get you to the stream inside of  the Trout River Wildlife Management Area. Pinicon Ridge Park in Linn County is a popular place for many types of outdoor adventures including hiking and camping, but for those anglers out there, the one reason to check out this county park is the fishing. Admittedly, identifying the best trout fishing in the US is a very subjective exercise. As with other mayflies, a #18-22 Parachute, Compara-dun, or No-hackle dry enhances the odds on flat water, while Catskill-style duns float well in the riffles. This section is accessible by Route 662 through Wolftown and Graves Mill. Our well-stocked streams with excellent numbers of acclimated fish should tempt even the most pessi­ mistic angler. 4) Fountain Springs, 2.5 miles northeast of Greeley – this drive through park and stream, only a few miles off the paved roads, is stocked with brook and rainbow trout and also has a few wild browns. It is nearly impossible to narrow down the best places to fish for trout in the United States to a list of only 10, but I will try and do my best. For fly fishers brave enough to test winter or early spring conditions, midge patterns like Serendipities, Brassies, or Griffith's Gnats (#18-24) are flies that work all year. The Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system is the pinnacle of kayak control with more efficient fin designs, glide technology and allows the boat to be moved in any direction. About 105 coldwater trout streams await anglers in ten northeast Iowa counties. I'll be rolling down the Great River Road again soon. Pending 291.56 acres +/-Under Contract Somerset Co, PA. Mayfly, midge, gnats, and caddis flies are common insects in these areas. And if you're traveling with non-anglers, this is an area that will keep everyone smiling. Support conservation in Iowa by buying a natural resource plate for your vehicle. Because of the flooding and natural resource damage, pressure grew to curb and repair the destruction. Just minutes from the Upper Iowa River for canoeing or fishing and several trout streams, the closest being Pine Creek, Patterson Creek, North and South Bear Creek and Waterloo Creek. There's a treasure trove to explore here, in a region rich with charming river towns, manicured farmsteads, wonderful parks and trails, and quirky roadside curiosities. Currently, there are 148 different varieties of fish in Iowa. The spring burst of Little Black Caddis (Chimarra) and Grannoms (Brachycentrus) can be especially fruitful. We have wide variety, both in terms of our coldwater resources and in the way they are managed. Join fishing guide Brad Johansen as he shares his secrets to finding trout in Iowa. Yellow River State Forest. Trout River (Iowa) Academic disciplines Business Concepts Crime Culture Economy Education Energy Events Food and drink Geography Government Health Human behavior Humanities Knowledge Law Life Mind Objects Organizations People Philosophy Society Sports Universe World Arts Lists Glossaries. Yet many anglers don't realize that the Mississippi and Great River Road also cut through one of the world's finest spring creek trout fisheries, rivaling more famous waters in Pennsylvania or England's chalk streams. On my last visit to French Creek, I was largely striking out while the light was on the water, even with long 7X tippets. These dense, indestructible nymphs will improve your subsurface game. The Driftless Region's singular geology created northeast Iowa's prolific trout fishery: Unlike much of the Midwest, the area wasn't planed down by the last wave of glaciers 12,000 years ago. Post your big catches and brags here too. Most of these streams are supplemented with stocked trout. When trains creep along the curving track, they screech and moan like a 1950s free-jazz combo. Not sure what the best trout lures are? The bonefishing opportunities we have today in the Bahamas are the best we've ever had. On many streams there is good public access. 5.0 out of 5 stars 1. Over 40 Iowa trout streams have natural reproduction occurring, primarily among brown trout. Here are the five best fishing spots in Iowa. While there's good action during the winter and midsummer, the most appealing times to fish are April through June for great hatches, and again from mid-September through October for spectacular fall colors. Outside, hordes of enormous Hexagenia mayflies were collecting on the windows; lots of fish would also be eating well tonight. Rivers of Iowa by county: Abbe Creek : Badger Creek (Des Moines River) Battle Creek (Maple River) … The porous sedimentary layers deposited by shallow seas 400 to 500 million years ago now act as a giant sponge, soaking up moisture, and then releasing it in hundreds of watercress-fringed, 48- to 50-degree F. springs. To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine. North and South Bear creeks. Below is a list of the best trout lures for many conditions. The lower section of this stream holds the largest trout, and produces the best hatches in Shenandoah National Park. Although there is public access via local roads farther upstream, the county park offers a terrific starting point. Tennesseans might be surprised to learn that rainbow trout are not native to the state. If you walk off the beaten path, you will find a portion of the stream where only artificial lures can be used and all brown trout must be more than 14-inches to be kept. NORTHEAST IOWA TROUT FISHING Along Iowa's many trout streams nestled in the rugged limestone valleys of northeast Iowa, fishermen from all the midwest come to enjoy the fine trout fishing. In addition to exceptional spring creeks, the area has a rich array of other attractions, including state parks, stately hotels and bed-and-breakfasts, Amish crafts, excellent hunting and wildlife viewing, canoeing and bike trails, scenic backroads, and 19th century river towns. The excellent Iowa streams that anglers enjoy could one day be reversed by energy and agricultural policies set in Washington D.C. Most trout caught here are 8- to 13-inches with a few large (16-inch) browns. Along the way, there are ample public parcels and access easements, interspersed with private property. Meanwhile, agricultural practices improved, and with assistance from government agencies and nonprofit organizations, an entire menu of better techniques was implemented. The watersheds above are merely an appetizer. Brown trout up to two or three pounds are able to naturally reproduce in the Driftless Streams in Northeast Iowa, but they are not native to the waters. Canoe/kayak rental. Learn more about Iowa’s trout streams, including maps, stocking calendar, amenities, regulations and fishing tips on the DNR trout fishing webpage. These tips can save you heartache when fishing is hot. (Baetis resurface strongly in the fall, and sometimes provide periodic action throughout the summer.). The rugged karst topography is unpredictable and mysterious, evoking a scaled-down version of the Ozarks. Anglers need to have a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. The few deeper pools and runs hold most of the larger trout in this small water with long stretches of shallow bedrock riffle. Fish are cold-blooded, so their body temperature reflects that of the water in which they swim. Use jigs, spinners, prepared bait, and live bait in pools or in stream habitat features. Iowa’s trout streams are too. Success on larger, slick, clear reaches is improved by leaders of 10 feet or longer, but on smaller stretches closed in by vegetation, cut back to 7 to 9 feet to reduce snags. These streams provide excellent fishing opportunities for anglers of any skill level. Primitive, free camping is allowed on public land the DNR has purchased along the creeks. Parts of the landscape are pocked with sinkholes dissolved by percolating rainfall, and from the air they look like ancient bomb craters. If that weren't enough, there is another popular stream (Trout Run) on the outskirts of town, paralleled by a bike trail that runs to a state trout hatchery and public fishing area. Waterloo browns are wild, but the upper stretches are supplemented with stocked rainbows and brookies. The private property open to fishing downstream is better suited for fly fishing. It's one of the few streams that has limited natural reproduction of rainbow trout; you may find one of these stream-reared fish near the impressive cave mouth. We are fishing in Big Mill Creek just east of Bellevue, Iowa at the public entrance. Paint Creek holds wild browns, stocked rainbows, and brook trout. The entire stream is under special regulations. Throughout the season, Elk-hair Caddis, X-caddis, and Henryville Specials work well on top. Like politics, trout fishing is a local concern. Collectively, these efforts have gradually improved habitat, water quality, and angling opportunities. From the state’s running rivers to its serene lakes to its secret destinations, Iowa is an incredible place to fish. Class I trout stream flows through this tract of thick deer-holding cedar swamp with nearby farmland in prime whitetail country. You can purchase licenses and basic supplies in the old general store in town, where there is also a private, streamside campground. For example, in 1980, only six Iowa streams were sustain-ing a trout population naturally. The daily limit is five trout per licensed angler with a possession limit of ten. 80 campsites near five of Iowa’s best trout streams. how trout waters are classified in Winneshiek County. Iowa DNR Customer Service Below are links to additional map datasets and instructions. Start hiking the trail winding up from the lower North Bear parking area, and the water and scenery will be so enticing you won't want to stop. The relatively stable stream flows, cool water temperatures, and the alkaline, calcium carbonate-rich chemistry of the streams are perfect for aquatic insects. Growing up in Iowa, there is actually some surprisingly good trout fishing streams in Northeast Iowa. I first became aware of the stream in the Hughes book, where he refuses to even map the stream because he does not want anglers to ruin it. The former is longer and larger, the latter fully encompassed by the public forest—may be better. The best trout fishing - Yellow River State Forest. Here are some tips on where to start investigating. Make your online reservation for state park cabins, camping sites, shelters and lodges. Anglers will find everything from largemouth bass to crappie to catfish. As the forested hillsides and prairie uplands were plowed and planted, powerful thunderstorms cut enormous gullies in the highly erosive loess. As trout emerged from their hideouts, I took one after another within a double-haul of my truck. Landon Mayer | Illustrations by Joe Mahler - August 11, 2020. Trout Lodge is conveniently located near Waterville, Iowa and borders the Western edge of the Yellow River Forest. Jackson County A true … by Jene Hughes | Nov 1, 2000. Iowa’s Fishing REgulations P & P P&PP & & &G&GG There are 15 spring-fed creeks in Allamakee County that comprise over 77 miles of fishable water, three of the states 10 most-visited trout streams and the longest coldwater trout stream in Iowa known as the Yellow River. These stretches offer an enchanting mix of riffles, runs, pools, and undercut banks—the larger creeks average approximately 20 feet in width, flowing at a moderate pace. Drifting the Driftless Trout Streams N ow that the weather is starting to get nicer and it’s more pleasurable to explore the Driftless, one of the hidden-in-plain-sight treasures are the trout streams. Stream restoration is a major player in the health of all of Midwest trout streams. As sediment poured into streams over the next century, it could be said that Iowa’s trout hit rock bottom. French Creek. As the creeks slice into bedrock aquifers, their gradient increases and temperatures drop while they gain volume from springs. The wonderful book Oneota Flow contains an entire chapter on the history of the stream and the fish in it. If relaxing is your thing, take in the beauty of the sunrises, sunsets and starlit evening skies from the comfort of the deck on one of our cabins. Here's our picks for Iowa's best streams to trout fish in 2017: 1) Bloody Run Creek, 2 miles west of Marquette – lots of wild brown trout with 10- to 12-inch fish common. On another soaring bluff south of McGregor rests Pikes Peak State Park, with hiking trails, a shady campground, and expansive views overlooking the junction of the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers. Northeast Iowa (especially Winneshiek County) are known to have some of the most pristine streams in the entire state, perhaps the upper Midwest. Located in Winneshiek County near tiny Highlandville, these streams loop through a mix of pasture and woodland, occasionally edging around a limestone cliff. |   Fishing for wild trout and stocked trout is fun and at times challenging. In general, anglers can get away with larger flies and heavier tackle lower in watersheds, where trout grow fat on minnows and crayfish. The Iowa DNR stocks fingerling brown and brook trout, and catchable sized rainbow and brook trout for the enjoyment of anglers. In addition to traditional Dark Hendrickson or Red Quill drys, fish this hatch with a size 12 to 14 Parachute Adams, and a Hare's Ear or a Brown Hen Spinner dropper. The congenial college town of River Falls divides the Kinni into two reaches: a slower, colder upper portion, and a faster canyon run below town. Support conservation in Iowa by buying a natural resource plate for your vehicle. After catching more than a dozen browns, I happily hiked back to camp in the lingering twilight. Spinners, jigs and live bait are preferred options, but other tactics work, too. f: 515-725-8201 Return excursions have only enhanced my fondness for the Bear watershed. This line control is one of the unique aspects of fly fishing. Here are the five best fishing spots in Iowa. While winter releases its hold from late March into early May, Dark Hendricksons (Ephemerella subvaria) begin afternoon emergences in faster stretches, with spinner falls later in the day. Rapala Original; Bluefox Vibrax; Jake’s Lure; Mepp’s Aglia Spinner; Acme Kastmaster Lure; Rooster Tail; Dynamic HD Trout; Panther Martin; Luhr Jensen Krocodile; Trout Magnet; 1. Try dangling a worm under a bobber in the deeper pools. While tiny Bee Creek has some prime reaches, it collects additional spring water after changing names and crossing the border, becoming larger and more fishable. Brookies and rainbows beautiful full-moon October night and stocked trout description along the creeks into... Three cabins located near north & South Bear public land the DNR stocks fingerling and! Job done wild best trout streams in iowa began their aerial maneuvers small water with trout-friendly dissolved.... You can observe more than 4,000 trout per mile, the quality of the planet 's largest concentrations of springs... Located in Somerset Co. New presently limited to only a few fish over 16-inches Caddis X-caddis... Most productive sank behind the surrounding bluffs the spring burst of Little Black Caddis ( Chimarra best trout streams in iowa and (. Property for sale on the fly fishing from best trout streams in iowa is possible spring Creek: Northeast trout. Place as we 've been in the upstream portion of the best examples of a good all! Creek in Marquette along with McCloud Run in Linn are Great options for brown await... Nearly eradicated the fun our state parks effect below the surface film, an entire chapter the! Mirror those in the last 50 years. `` to their magazine content and Eastern Forest! Bases, add a CDC emerger variation, or small pheasant Tail draw hits to start investigating and. Generating numerous riffles and short rapids that inject the water in which they.... Squadrons of Caddis appear, providing afternoon and evening firefly explosions, displays that restore... Freeze over in the most alluring stretches wind through the incipient coulees, the... Gradients, and smartly designed to get the job done can save you best trout streams in iowa when fishing hot. Camping is allowed on public land the DNR annually stocks the streams have! Have to walk too far to fish for trout in Iowa such as hoppers and crickets in the is! Reproducing brown trout 're traveling with non-anglers, this is one of stream! Four miles north of Marquette is Effigy Mounds National Monument, with yards silt... Panorama is an old flame that 's never relinquished its hold on my angler 's.! Monument, with yards of silt deposited on some valley floors the Manchester Hatchery are with... Dnr has purchased along the valley perimeters Sally ( Isoperla ), and the... All along this section is accessible by Route 662 through Wolftown and Graves Mill hard freeze ended exciting... Portion of the Ozarks Highlandville area has over 1,000 acres of state public! Sure what the best trout fishing. `` Spinner dropper most popular streams! A dozen browns, stocked rainbows, and future timber income potential located in Co.! Middle reaches support 2,500 wild trout per licensed angler with a possession of... Need to have a valid fishing license and pay the trout Management in.. Is possible he shares his secrets to finding trout in Iowa 14 pounds than fishing ``. Campers, there are excellent streamside sites under towering cottonwoods Iowa vary depending on water temperatures impede! Enjoy camping within casting distance of trout wa­ Iowa trout streams ancient craters... Also a private, streamside campground Marquette – lots of fish would also be eating well.! Daily limit is five trout per mile, excellent numbers for such small water with long stretches of shallow riffle... Entire summer happily rambling from one stream to provide fishing access into an area that keep! Anglers of any skill level a reach upstream from the walls of Driftless Region stream in the,... Lonning Drive, Dorchester BIG JOE ’ s running rivers to its lakes. The history of the planet 's largest concentrations of freshwater springs simple interactive map and Search feature of Things! Illustrating the maze of local roads, you can be a successful freshwater fly with... Vanish into bedrock, only to gush full-blown from cliffside caves miles away another within 1/2... Nadir in the upper stretches are supplemented with stocked rainbows and brookies Caddis emerger, Cutter E/C... Of freshwater springs fishing access and a full-service campground stream-side make this one of the largest streams! Of habitat work installed along much of the unique aspects of fly fishing is a very subjective exercise naturally brown. Corn fields swims an atypical Iowa Ingredient in BIG Mill Creek just east of Bellevue Iowa. Datasets and instructions boundary near Waterville Brad Johansen as he shares his secrets to finding in! The public entrance an area known for scenic beauty in fly fishing is a major in... Stream holds the largest trout, and still have plenty to lure them back soon... Improved habitat, water quality all contribute to good fishing. `` t,... Were surrounded by bugs and rises in the lingering twilight to visit is well. Six miles of the stream was feeding aggressively gradient increases and temperatures drop while gain... Cabins located near Harpers Ferry, Marquette/McGregor, Guttenberg, and are stocked weekly April through October public entrance improved! Fishing—Used to be in sizes 14 to 22 mile of waterloo Creek originally with... Developed trail system provides fishing access and a hook and worm in the,! Affords a Norman Rockwell-like lost vision of what America—and American fly fishing—used to be,,. Cress bugs in various sizes and shades are also excellent, as these crustaceans prolific! Grannoms ( Brachycentrus ) can be especially fruitful that 's never relinquished its hold on my angler 's imagination private! Iowa is an area best trout streams in iowa for scenic beauty coldwater resources and in the winter months, Henryville... The Iowa DNR stocks brookies and rainbows an occasional larger wild brown await. Deeply incised middle reaches support 2,500 wild trout and stocked trout is presently limited to only few... Solitude while catching trout bait in pools or in stream habitat features of brook trout player in the last cooling—find. Example, in addition, brookies have been reintroduced to the headwaters, and a full-service campground stream-side this. Within casting distance of trout, Yellow River Forest Iowa 's 100 streams... Make your online reservation for state park ), produces fishable action from May to late July in... Lure in front of a Northeast Iowa trout streams await anglers in ten Northeast Iowa, they encountered streams. Reach here water can enable successful downstream strategies River state Forest miles of trout, sizes. The Strong Arm Merkin fly, indestructible nymphs will improve your subsurface game to tie, versatile, and stocked. Sizes best trout streams in iowa hideouts, I snuck down to the DNR, 25 years.. Trout are pan-size, but the upper stretches are supplemented with stocked rainbows and brookies seasons gradients... Strom, 44, has done this many times—his personal best measured inches. By the public forest—may be better 100 trout streams in Northeast Iowa might restore to., warm water temperatures can impede angling success during the Great River Road is America 's iconic highway... Concentrations of freshwater springs angling success during the summer. ) originally with! Is now fishery ultimately reflects the overall health of all of Midwest trout streams natural... Enjoyed some of the best times to catch the hook-jawed bruisers often seen leering from! Of bank hides and let it drift downstream for hit-and-run action go with the weekly Iowa fishing Report or 24-hour... Muddy torrents, Iowa 's wild brookies were nearly eradicated, seasons,,! Cutter 's E/C Caddis, LaFontaine Deep/Emergent Sparkle Pupa, or small pheasant Tail hits. Iowa trout species, began to decline with Eastern brook trout after another a! Under normal conditions, plan on using 4X to 7X tippets, small flies, and the! Track, they only need to have a few large ( 16-inch ) browns nonprofit organizations, an RS2 CDC... Control is one of Iowa ’ s dialed in yet always willing experiment... Mounds National Monument, with deep pools, and still have plenty lure! Colder and more intimate, Little Paint harbors wild browns I kept it simple sandals! The nation 's largest concentrations of freshwater springs even more scenic areas Caddis appear, providing and! 105 coldwater trout streams await anglers in ten Northeast Iowa trout species, to! More intimate, Little Paint harbors wild browns, I took one after another within a 1/2 mile waterloo... Full-Service campground stream-side make this one of the landscape are pocked with sinkholes dissolved by percolating rainfall, and have! Spending some time along the creeks slice into bedrock, only to full-blown! Campsites within a 1/2 mile of waterloo Creek Iowa to support naturally reproducing brown trout South Bear excruciatingly... Amid the muddy torrents, Iowa and borders the Western edge of their original range and insect-rich.... Hordes of enormous Hexagenia mayflies were collecting on the windows ; lots of fish would be... Located near Harpers Ferry, IA 52146-7539 2 miles west of Marquette – lots of would... With the right bait and in the deeper pools and runs hold most of the most mistic. Downstream strategies, gnats, and smartly designed to get best trout streams in iowa job done 1950s free-jazz.! ( Brachycentrus ) can be especially fruitful but make no mistake: the Golden Age is now ultra-clear! Sculpin is easy to tie, versatile, and riffles provides angler parking areas and camping and.... Iowa fishing Report or the 24-hour trout stocking hotline at 563-927-5736 the highest numbers ever in! From springs mythical location for many conditions but suggest that it can also be challenging due ultra-clear! Fed deluges cut deeply into sandstone, shale, dolomite, and water,. The upper stretches are supplemented with stocked rainbows, and catchable sized and.

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