Contractors have resumed work on the $1 million water quality improvement project at Storm Lake after it was halted last March due to wet conditions.
The project features a dike to cut off the two foot deep, 90-acre Little Storm Lake marsh from the main lake, and allow Powell Creek to flow directly into Storm Lake during times of dewatering or drawdown. Currently, the water flowing in to the marsh from Powell Creek is cleaner that the water flowing from Little Storm Lake in to Storm Lake.
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 periodically to meet water quality and aquatic vegetation goals. When the marsh is drained, sediment will be allowed to consolidate and vegetation to get established.
The project also includes a fish barrier in the control structures to limit the access between the marsh and the lake to 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 by removing sediment and absorbing nutrients from Powell Creek before the water enters Storm Lake.
The contractor is 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 until the site work is completed.
The project is partially funded by a grant from the Watershed Improvement Review Board to the Storm Lake Preservation Association. The project is a joint effort between the Iowa DNR, local citizens and Ducks Unlimited and is expected to conclude this winter or spring, depending upon weather.
Lessard Contracting, Inc., out of Sergeant Bluff, was awarded the contract.