Parts of southwest Iowa have endured more than six years of drought conditions, but Marc Roberg with the Department of Natural Resources says lakes in Union County have been refilled by recent rainstorms.
Three Mile Lake has water over the cement partitions of the boat ramp, the handicapped fishing pier and the boat jetties. Roberg says water’s so high that if you’re out in a boat you have to watch out for things that normally would be sticking out of the water.
Roberg says Twelve Mile Lake, a reservoir five miles east of Creston, also is full. It was ten feet low a couple ago, he says, and all the boat ramps are usable. The water’s a bit muddy but Roberg says that’s to be expected. While Twelve Mile Lake is just right for boating, he says the water’s really higher than park operators would like at Three Mile Lake and Green Valley, a popular park for camping.
Green Valley Lake is a couple feet higher than normal, he says, and nearby near Mitchell Marsh on the north end of Summit Lake, the roadway had a foot of water flowing across it. Roberg says, "There are carp swimming over the top of the road." Waterways designed with spillways are looking good, he says, and some ponds without overflow designs have water running over the dams. While it may be tempting for boaters and anglers to get out and test the waters, Roberg says the flooding makes that a risky plan.
The water temperatures are about 60-degrees, he points out, cold enough that if you fell in you’d suffer hypothermia pretty quickly. It’s even more important this time of year to wear life jackets. The DNR website has links to Union County lakes and other recreational waterways.