The Army Corps of Engineers and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources are going to try and help the love life of fish in a man-made central Iowa lake. Corps spokesperson Dorie Bollman says they hope to keep the level of Saylorville Lake north of Des Moines a little higher to improve the conditions for spawning fish.
Bollman says with natural rainfall they’ll try to control the release of water from Saylorville. The controlled release would keep the water level about three feet higher for a couple of weeks beginning Friday. Bollman says their ability to hold the water level all depends on the amount of rainfall in the watershed.
Bollman says they tried it last year, but the weather conditions didn’t cooperate and they weren’t able to control the water level. Bollman says they’d like to use the technique on another Iowa lake too. Bollman says they hope to include Lake Redrock in the plan next year, and says there are some arrangements they still need to make to implement the plan. Redrock is downstream from Saylorville Lake on the Des Moines River.
Bollman says keeping the water levels higher can help the fish and doesn’t impact recreational use of the lake. Bollman says boaters generally don’t complain about higher deeper water, and she says the effort would be over by Memorial Day when the boating season really heats up. Bollman says if they’re able to hold the water levels up and improve the fish spawn, it could have a long term impact on the lake.