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Viking Lake still recovering from 2019 drawdown

  • 3/16/2021 1:54:00 PM
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The water level at Viking Lake was lowered eight feet during the summer of 2019 to improve the fish population. Now a year and a half later, the lake’s water level has yet to return to normal levels.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) closed the outlet gate in January 2020, after repairs to the gate were completed. Viking Lake’s water level was on the rise with normal rainfall last spring. Then the rains stopped in July and drought conditions set in for the remainder of 2020.

Lake drawdowns are a common fish management practice that crowds the fish population for a period of time.

“Crowding fish into a smaller area makes them more susceptible to predation by largemouth bass and reduces the number of small bluegills in the lake to improve growth in the coming year,” said Bryan Hayes, DNR fisheries management biologist.