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Geode State Park restoration project underway

DANVILLE – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will begin renovations at Geode State Park this winter to improve water quality at Lake Geode and enhance accessibility and recreational opportunities in the park.

Lake levels at Lake Geode were lowered in October as a first step in this large-scale renovation. The lake is currently fully drawn-down. Park users are advised not to cross the lake via the lake bottom as it is very soft. The lake will stay dry through 2018.

DNR hatchery staff collected some of Lake Geode’s fish to use as brood stock, while fisheries crews moved a portion of the fish to area lakes. Many fish left the lake through the drain pipe into the creek and, eventually, made their way to the Skunk River.  The draw-down effectively removed common carp and yellow bass, both undesirable fish species. 

Lake restoration construction work will begin this January and continue through March 2019.

Work will include removing sediment, stabilizing the eroded shoreline, and building an in-lake silt dam, fishing jetties, and fish habitat structures.  Local angling groups will help place additional fish habitat features in the lake bottom. 

Campground improvements will begin March 2018 and continue through December 2018.  Work will include rebuilding camp pads, replacing an existing shower building, installing a new pit toilet, adding more RV utility hook-ups, upgrading the electrical campsites to 50 amp service, and installing a new dump station.

Lake Geode is one of the lakes in the state selected for lake restoration work designed to improve water quality because of the potential economic return for the investment. Poor water quality has impacted the fish population and affected all water based recreation at the lake.  Implementation of water quality improvement practices in the watershed is currently underway.

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