Geode State Park restoration project timeline extended
Danville, Iowa – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) extended the timeline to complete in-lake restoration work at Geode State Park due to poor working conditions throughout the winter. Current restoration activities will improve water quality at Lake Geode and enhance accessibility and recreational opportunities in the park.
An unseasonably warm winter prevented the DNR from completing all elements of the project in 2019 and early 2020. DNR’s current plan is to resume work late this summer to remove the remaining 40,000 cubic yards of excess sediment from the upper end of the lake. The lake will be allowed to re-fill starting February 2021.
If weather conditions this year do not allow for mechanical removal of sediment from the lake bottom, the DNR plans to hydraulically dredge the remaining 40,000 cubic yards in early 2021. Efforts to stabilize additional sections of shoreline will be completed via barge after the lake refills. Final in-lake work compliments a decade’s effort to protect future water quality at Lake Geode through implementation of Best Management Practices in the watershed.
Lake restoration construction work at Lake Geode began in January 2018. About 160,000 cubic yards of excess sediment has been removed from the lake, eroded shorelines have been stabilized, fishing jetties have been built, and fish habitat structures added. Local angling groups are helping with the restoration efforts by constructing and placing additional fish habitat features in the lake bottom.
Since construction started, the DNR has replaced the existing lake drain valve, completed maintenance work on the concrete spillway and finished a significant portion of the in-lake work. Construction will continue this spring on the terrestrial portions of the project, including final grading and armoring the shoreline.
From March 2018 through summer of 2019, the DNR also completed campground renovations. Improvements included a new shower building, pit toilet, dump station, and 14 campsites with full utility hook-ups, and 52 campsites with electrical hook-ups.
The DNR recently announced new changes to Iowa state parks due to COVID-19, including the closing of campgrounds and facilities for recreational use through April 30, 2020. Geode State Park is open for day use only, which includes roads and trails and open spaces such as grassy areas.
Lake Geode is one of the lakes in the state selected for lake restoration work designed to improve water quality, habitat, and provide a positive economic return to the community. Poor water quality has impacted the fish population and affected all water based recreation at the lake.