A bill that’s cleared the Iowa House would allow more powerful boats to cruise around an eastern Iowa lake in the summertime.
Lake MacBride, located about 14 miles north of Iowa City, is named for former University of Iowa president Thomas MacBride, a botanist who is sometimes called the “father of conservation” in Iowa according to the state’s website. Representative Bob Hager, a Republican from Dorchester, asked his fellow House members to support the bill.
“This (House) File allows the operation of motor boats equipped with power units exceeding 10 horsepower at any time to be operated at a ‘no wake’ speed on Lake MacBride…(so)…all Iowans (can) use this particular lake for fishing,” Hager said.
Representative Sharon Steckman, a Democrat from Mason City, opposed the bill. “Lake MacBride is the only remaining man-made lake over 100 acres left in Iowa that prohibits motors exceeding 10 horsepower during the summer months. Motors over 10 horsepower are allowed any other timeof the year,” Steckman said. “I feel we should have one pristine lake for Iowa families to enjoy during the summer.”
Hager responded.”It’s a man-made, reconstructed lake– improved water quality and improved fishing quality and we just want to be able to let all Iowans use it for the fishing purpose,” Hager said.
The bill passed on a 56 to 37 vote and now goes to the senate.
Lake MacBride State Park opened in 1937. The lake, which was enlarged in 1955, covers 812 acres and the 10 horsepower limit for boats is in effect from Memorial Day to Labor Day. According to the Department of Natural Resources, it “may be the only lake in Iowa in which the prized Kentucky spotted bass can be caught.” The agency also stocks the lake with walleye, bluegill and catfish each year.