The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is leading an $800,000 project to improve water quality in Storm Lake and its surrounding watershed. It hopes to complete the project by fall.
Little Storm Lake acts like a filter for water moving into Storm Lake. Water quality issues at the little lake, though, have started to cause problems at the bigger body of water.
“The wind stirs up the sediment along with the rough fish. So we’ve moved silt from the little lake into the big lake,” said Iowa DNR environmental specialist Julie Sievers.
To stop that, the DNR has just started working on a dike which will allow water to flow straight from Powell Creek into the main lake, cutting off access to Little Storm Lake.
The DNR has already cleaned up the watershed that feeds the creek and dredging is being done in the main lake to remove a thick layer of sediment from the bottom.
“This is the middle piece that we’ve really needed to work on,” Sievers said.
Sievers says the project should pay off for fishermen on the big lake, but most importantly restore water quality in both lakes.
The DNR will also install water control structures to drain Little Storm Lake, which will tighten up the sediment, allowing new vegetation to grow.