Boat docks are closed this week at the popular lakeside community of Carter Lake in southwest Iowa, a lake that’s shared by both Iowa and Nebraska. Mark Porath, a spokesman for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, says a fishkill is being intentionally started today.
Porath says, “We will be applying a chemical which is toxic to fish to remove the fish population and then on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, as needed, we will go ahead and pick up the fish as they surface.” Porath says the lake is populated with non-game fish and they are hurting the quality of the lake.
He says the lake is “primarily dominated by common carp, buffalo and gizzard shad and all three of those have a really negative impacts on water quality and fish habitat.” Porath is asking that boaters, fishermen and everyone else keep off the lake for the next several days.
“The most important thing is to try to stay away from the area while we’re doing it,” he says. “We have a lot of people going in and out of the boat ramps so staying away would be really helpful for us.” Once all the dead fish are collected and the water quality returns to normal, Porath says they will be restocking the lake with quality sporting fish.
“We are going in with large-mouth bass, bluegill and channel catfish,” he says. “Depending on how our water quality hooks back up, we’ll look at potentially using sunfish and down the line we may look at crappie, as well.” Porath says restocking should start next month.
Carter Lake is a unique city in Pottawattamie County. It is surrounded by Omaha and is the only Iowa community that is west of the Missouri River — and it’s technically in Nebraska. This was due to the Missouri River changing course in the 1870s, shifting land from Iowa to the Nebraska side.
By Karla James