Geode State Park restoration underway

DANVILLE ? Iowa Department of Natural Resources will begin renovations at Geode State Park this winter to improve water quality at the lake and enhance accessibility and recreational opportunities in the park.

Lake levels were lowered in October as a first step in the large-scale renovation. The lake is fully drawn-down. Park users are advised not to cross the lake via the lake bottom as it is very soft. The lake will stay dry through 2018.

DNR hatchery staff collected some of the fish to use as brood stock, while fisheries crews moved a portion of the fish to area lakes. Many fish left the lake through the drain pipe into the creek and, eventually, made their way to the Skunk River. The drawdown effectively removed common carp and yellow bass, both undesirable fish species.

Lake restoration construction work begins this month and continues through March 2019.

Work will include removing sediment, stabilizing eroded shoreline and building an in-lake silt dam, fishing jetties and fish habitat structures. Angling groups will help place fish habitat features in the lake bottom.

Campground improvements begin March and continue through December. Work will include rebuilding camp pads, replacing a shower building, installing a pit toilet, adding RV utility hookups, upgrading the electrical campsites to 50 amp service, and installing a dump station.

Lake Geode is one of the lakes in the state selected for lake restoration work designed to improve water quality because of the potential economic return for the investment. Poor water quality has impacted the fish population and affected all water-based recreation at the lake. Implementation of water quality improvement practices in the watershed is underway.