Final Phase Of Restoration Of Anglers Bay Wildlife Area About To Get Underway

Thu 2-11-2021

(Orleans)-- The final phase of the multi-year restoration of a 104-acre section of the Anglers Bay Wildlife Area on the northeast side of Big Spirit Lake is about to get underway. Mike Hawkins, a fisheries biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, tells KUOO news a contractor will soon begin removing invasive and non-target trees along a 17-acre section of the shoreline...Hawkins & Anglers Bay01 

"We'll be leaving the bur oak and basswood and some of the large cottonwoods along with some hackberries. There's quite a few of those trees there. It's really a thinning and opening of the canopy and then once that's done and some of the invasive buckthorn and other species that are growing in there are taken care of, the native prairie will be planted underneath of there. The canopy will be opened up enough so that you can actually grow some of those grasses and forbes and flowers underneath of that. So it's really going to take a look of a oak savanna and that oak savanna habitat type is extremely rare on the planet. We don't see much oak savanna anywhere any more, and so this is a neat opportunity to both help the lake, help aquatic plants by reducing some shading, opening that area up so that we can have some oak savanna there." 

Hawkins says the project is intended to stabilize the shoreline and is part of an earlier initiative to preserve and re-establish a stand of bulrushes in that area...Hawkins & Anglers Bay02 

"It's really going to have a lot of unique beauty, open up the viewshed so folks can see the lake up on that shoreline, and then also, in the future there will be, you know, the bike trail will come through there as well. So all in all it's going to be a neat project."

Hawkins says there will also be some followup treatments including prescribed fire, mowing and spot chemical treatment to prevent trees and shrubs from regaining a foothold.

The area will remain open to hunting, wildlife watching, hiking and other forms of recreation.

A video on the project is available here: