STORM LAKE - Construction is underway on a project that will improve the water quality in Storm Lake by getting Little Storm Lake to become a properly working marsh.
Currently, the water flowing in to the marsh from Powell Creek is cleaner that the water flowing from Little Storm Lake in to Big Storm Lake.
Contractors are building a dike to cut off the 2 foot deep, 150-acre marsh from the main lake, while allowing Powell Creek to flow directly to Storm Lake. This stage of the project is scheduled to be completed by March 31.
The construction area will remain disturbed until this fall, when the contractor will finish the final shaping and grading of the area. The contractor will be required to contain all sediment within Little Storm Lake and not allow any to enter the main lake. There may be limited access to certain areas during the spring and summer until the site work is completed in the fall.
To get the marsh working properly again, water control structures will be added to Little Storm Lake that will allow the Iowa DNR to dewater it. Once the marsh is drained, sediment will be allowed to consolidate and vegetation to get established. Cutting the access between the marsh and the lake will also reduce spawning areas for rough fish, mainly common carp.
Fishing and water quality will likely improve once the marsh becomes a properly working filter once again for the water entering Storm Lake.
The nearly $800,000 project is partially funded by a grant from the Watershed Improvement Review Board to the Storm Lake Lake Preservation Association. The project is a joint effort between the Iowa DNR, local citizens and Ducks Unlimited and is expected to conclude in the fall, depending upon weather.
Lessard Contracting, Inc., out of Sergeant Bluff, was awarded the contract.