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Water level to drop at Hickory Grove Lake ahead of restoration

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Story County Conservation Board plan to start drawing down Hickory Grove Lake near Colo in Story County as early as August 6th as part of the continued lake restoration efforts to improve water quality and enhance accessibility and recreational opportunities.

Planned restoration work includes dredging soft sediment from the lake bottom, stabilizing the shoreline with rock riprap, renovating the fishery and park amenity upgrades. Fish habitat structures will be installed throughout the lake for better sport fishing. The project is expected to be completed as early as spring of 2020, with the goal of returning the lake to full pool in the spring and early summer of 2020.

Fishing regulations at Hickory Grove Lake were relaxed on July 10, to allow anglers to more freely harvest game fish before the lake is renovated. Liberalized fishing regulations will remain in effect until the in-lake construction begins.

Hickory Grove Park is a popular camping and fishing destination. The lake is also home to a popular triathlon each spring.

Watershed improvements already made include a pond, livestock exclusion structure, bioreactor, and stabilizing the streambank to reduce the amount of nutrients and sediment reaching the lake. Current watershed efforts involve building 25 revetment rock silt dikes, stabilizing the shoreline with rock riprap on the north edge of the lake, and trail and drainage tile repairs on the south end of the lake.

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