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Lake Restoration in West Lake Park

Chad Dolan, Iowa DNR
the lakes in West Lake Park (Lake Canyada is private).

Swimming, fishing, and kayaking in a popular Quad Cities park will end early this year, and be closed for all of next year. This week, the Iowa DNR will begin the "restoration" of the lakes in West Lake Park in Scott County.

Spokesman Chad Dolan says water will be drained slowly from the lakes, starting with the smaller ones, and it probably won't be noticeable around the biggest lake, Lake of the Hills, until sometime in August.

"The goal will be to take as much water off of all the lakes that we possibly can in order to let the bottom dry. So as part of this restoration, sediment will be removed and they'll be doing some work to stabilize the shorelines."

Dolan says the smaller lakes have been filling with sediment since the park was built in the 1970's, and now sediment is beginning to drain into Lake of the Hills. There's also growing amounts of algae clouding the water, and hurting the fish and other aquatic life.

And he says "lakes don't last forever."

"When they're built, they begin to take on sediment, they begin to deposit sediment, and they will go from a more pristine environment to one that's not as pristine. And if left unchecked, eventually all lakes will transition into marshland and then dry land."

The restoration of the lakes in West Lake Park will continue next year, so they won't be available for recreation, but should re-open sometime in 2021.

Camping and picnicking in the park should not be affected by this work on the lakes. 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.