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CLEAR LAKE – The public is invited to provide input to improvements being made at a public access on Clear Lake’s south shore at Lekwa Marsh.
Staff from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will be on site from 4-6 p.m. on Monday, March 14th to answer questions about the work being done and to entertain suggestions from the public on how the shoreline access can best be utilized.
The public access across the road from Lekwa Marsh will be developed into a day use area that can be used as a launching point for shallow bottom boats including canoes and kayaks. The access point can also be used for fishing and will initially include some amenities including some picnic tables, a grill, a portable restroom and some informational signage.
“Public access to the lake is vitally important and this has been an underutilized area for a number of years. The DNR is very excited about the improvements we are making here,” said DNR Director Chuck Gipp.
“We are thrilled about this opportunity to increase and enhance lake access for our visitors and residents. I’m sure it will become a welcome spot to relax on a bike ride around the lake, launch a kayak, or enjoy some family time by the water.” Libbey Patton, Director of Tourism for the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.
Gipp said that the popularity of canoeing and kayaking is one of the fastest growing outdoor recreational activities and improvements to the access will provide greater opportunity as well as taking pressure off of existing boat ramps around the lake.
“That area also has aquatic vegetation that is vitally important to fish and the overall water quality of Clear Lake which is why we want this to be an area that offers great public usage opportunities, but still remains an area of low impact on the lake,” said Gipp.
Local fishing guide Kevan Paul said maintaining a healthy vegetation community within the lake is vital to sustaining an outstanding fishery.
“Over the last few years, I have seen how important the vegetation is. All species of fish live and use the vegetation in Clear Lake on a regular basis. I can't stress enough how important it is for us to help protect it so we have great fishing for years to come,” said Paul.
Gipp said he hopes that residents are not only able to learn more about the project from DNR staff on Monday, but also provide ideas on how the area can be better utilized by the public.