These are some shots of some differing sizes of old/broken/defective concrete sewer pipe that I lobbied hard to have included and also helped acquire from local contractors who were more than happy to contribute. Someone must have liked the idea because there is a lot more than I helped acquire here and spread in more areas than originally planned in '05-'06. There are several changes in this area from the original plans and even some from the 2010 replanning but this is a good thing as these are all very beneficial additions/changes. The reason I wanted plenty of this concrete pipe included is for channel catfish spawning habitat, specifically for large channel cats. Channel Catfish (and Flathead) are cavity spawners and there isn't very much of that type of natural habitat in a manmade lake like this. I'd like to see this lake become self sustaining for channel catfish and the key to that is habitat that allows them to grow large (20+ pounds) and a place for those larger catfish to spawn which means a cavity large enough to go in and turn around in. Large females lay a lot of eggs but more important attract the larger males to guard the nest from predator fish. Large Channels should also keep down any (over)population of bullheads which can plague Iowa manmade lakes (Lake Darling 20 years ago for instance)
The number one sought after Game Fish in Iowa is now Catfish according to the Iowa DNR yet so little is done in the way of habitat enhancement for Catfish. There is a big difference between a lake where you can easily catch 1-2 pound stocked catfish and having a lake that has good catfishing averaging 4-5 pounds consistently and plenty of 20+ pounders to keep the advanced catfishermen happy. This lake should turn out to be the latter and hopefully will be a model for other new lakes (or restoring existing lakes) in Iowa and other prairie states.
These were taken from the top of the large rock pile (actually a rip rapped hillside) seen in pictures taken from the other side. This is one of the changes I was talking about. Originally this fishing jetty was planned to be built on the old roadbed like the one on the other side. Believe me this is way cooler and will likely be the hottest spot on the lake for shore fishermen. Actually I look forward to fishing this area (both sides) from a boat.
And even more concrete pipe, lots and lots of concrete pipe ..... This also wasn't in the original plans but is a very welcome addition. This area should attract a variety of fish and baitfish.
Looking down the west side at the 4 concrete pipes along the old roadbed and a shot of the short jetty I took the opening shots from.
These are all taken from the dam area and comparing them to the older photos you can tell it's up 4-5 feet literally overnight.
I'll finish up with a couple of shots of the water level control structure. Someday there will be water lapping up against this .....
I have a short follow up from July 4 after the lake had 'settled in' a few days. Unless we get a significant rain I likely won't be going back out again for another couple of weeks. There is still a long ways to go, I calculated about 22 ft to go using the pictures and maps I have and every foot it rises will take a little bit longer as the surface area increases and that last 10 feet will really take a while. I would be greatly surprised to see this full by next Memorial Day or even the 4th of July.