Prairie Rose Lake Restoration Public Meeting


April 26th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will discuss the Prairie Rose Lake restoration plan during a public meeting at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 3, at the Harlan Community Library.

The Prairie Rose lake restoration project is contingent upon the DNR’s lake restoration program being funded at its current $8.6 million level. 

Prairie Rose Lake is one of 35 priority lakes in the state selected for lake restoration work to improve water quality.  Poor water quality has impacted the fish population and affected all water based recreation at the lake.

The lake’s water level will be lowered after the July 4 holiday and will be kept there for the remainder of the year to accommodate construction in the lake basin.  Draining the lake will effectively eliminate the existing fish population.

The presence of common carp in Prairie Rose Lake has contributed to the poor water quality and the dramatic reductions in both the numbers and the quality of sport fish populations and corresponding reduction in angling and boating use.

It is important to note that all other park facilities including the campground will remain open during the lake restoration work.  Users should expect limited lake access until normal water levels return in 2012.

The lake draining and fishery renovation is only part of a process aimed at improving the lake’s water quality. Stabilizing shoreline erosion problems, dredging to restore depth, and wetland construction will all be part of the restoration project.

Conservation practices aimed at reducing the amount of sediment and nutrients reaching the lake began over three years ago.  Soil and nutrient saving practices installed around the lake’s 4,600 acre watershed include more than 40 miles of terraces.

“Now that a significant portion of the land around lake has been treated it is time to move in-lake with restoration efforts,” said Bryan Hayes fisheries biologist with the Iowa DNR.

The public meeting will provide specific details of the nearly $4 million Lake Restoration project at Prairie Rose Lake.