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Public meeting to discuss removing Steamboat Rock Dam on Iowa River

  • 7/5/2023 12:14:00 PM
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STEAMBOAT ROCK - The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Hardin County Conservation, the City of Steamboat Rock, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will host a public meeting at 6:30 p.m., July 13, at the Iowa River Conservation Club Building near Pine Ridge Park.

Restoration activities planned for the Steamboat Rock Dam and Iowa River throughout the town, including public areas owned by the city, county and state will be presented at the meeting. 

“After several years of public input, planning and design, a series of new projects will unfold over a few years to provide a safer, healthier river in the area,” said Nate Hoogeveen, project manager for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. 

Projects include removing the dam, replacing flathead catfish habitat, improving fishing access, adding small rapids for fishing and tubing, and eventually a new boat ramp, a new lodge, camping amenities, boating access, and parking.

“This $3 million plus commitment among federal, state, and local governments is the biggest recreation investment at Steamboat Rock in decades," Hoogeveen said. “It will reinvent local access to the river while enhancing popular activities like fishing, inner tubing, paddling and camping.”

The Steamboat Rock Dam will be removed in stages to prevent too much sediment from being flushed downstream while stabilizing river banks upstream. As the dam is removed and banks are stabilized upstream, the project will transform the area into a friendly zone for recreation and habitat for aquatic life such as freshwater mussels and fish.

“We are grateful to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under its Fish Passage program to provide $1 million toward the in-channel project,” said Hoogeveen, “along with the Harding County supervisors in investing large amounts toward park improvements.” 

Any person with special requirements such as those related to mobility or hearing impairments who wishes to participate in the public meeting should promptly contact the DNR or ADA Coordinator at 515-725-8200, Relay Iowa TTY Service 800-735-7942, or to advise of specific needs.

For more information, contact Wes Wiesse, Hardin County Conservation at 641-373-1767 or Nate Hoogeveen, Iowa DNR at 515-205-2486.