The Restoration Of Two Area Lakes About To Get Underway

Thu 5-15-2014

(Spirit Lake)-- A presentation and open house on plans to restore Marble and West Hottes Lakes in Dickinson county will be held this coming Tuesday, May 20th. Mike Hawkins, a Fisheries Biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says they'll outline plans on how they plan to restore the lakes...(click here for comment.) "We're going to be looking at restoring both of those water bodies by simulating drought conditions and pulling some of the water down. That will both eliminate common carp, which are a problem for water quality, and also promote some aquatic plant life to get going out there, both some emergence, like cattail and bull rush, especially in West Hottes with giant bull rush, and some emergent plants, plants that grow underneath the water. The purpose of the project really is to bring back water quality which both of those systems have really degraded in the last few decades to a point where they're extremely turbid, algae-dominated, and not healthy for fish and wildlife. This will get those things back, fish and wildlife habitat, back to those lakes, and also when they're in that healthy state promote a buffer for Big Spirit Lake. Almost 20 percent of Big Spirit Lake's water comes through those lakes so having them healthy and acting as a good filter is very important."

Hawkins says the projects will start soon...(click here for comment.) "Signs of construction will start sometime this summer. We're going to be getting some electrical service back to some key spots. Major construction portion of the project, late summer into this fall and probably finishing up in the winter."

He says multiple agencies are involved in the project...(click here for comment.) "The Spirit Lake Protective Association is helping us host this meeting. It is definitely a project that benefits Big Spirit Lake and all of the chain from a water quality perspective, so Ducks Unlimited and the Iowa DNR, the protective associations have been promoting and helping with this project. It's definitely a multi-agency, multi-organizational project."

Tuesday's meeting begins at 6:00 p.m. at the Mini Wakan State Park Shelter House at Mini Wakan State Park on the north shore of Big Spirit Lake. There will be a short presentation followed by a question and answer session. Representatives of the various partnering agencies in the project will also be on hand.