Lost Grove Lake is filling ahead of schedule, which is good news for the local anglers anxious to see the lake completed, but bad news for contractors who have work yet to do.
The contract to install the three boat ramps and parking lots, and add riprap north and south of the dam is on the June agenda for the Natural Resource Commission of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The project has an estimated cost of $1.4 million.
“We need to add a gradual slope to the end of the main boat ramp by back filling the area to prevent trailers from dropping off into deep water and to do that we need to release some of water from Lost Grove Lake,” said Chad Dolan, fisheries biologist with the Iowa DNR. The lake level will need to come down about four feet to allow the work.
Dolan said they plan to open the gate just enough to slowly reduce the lake level and not impact downstream neighbors. Keeping the outflow at a minimum will also prevent fish loss.
The DNR has already stocked largemouth bass, channel catfish, bluegill, redear sunfish, crappie and muskie in the main pool and the causeway.
“We recognize that this is not likely welcome news but we cannot build the boat ramp unless we can get the water level down to where contractors can get in and do the work,” he said.
Construction on the main ramp should begin in mid to late June and barring weather delays, is expected to last two months. Once work on the main ramp is completed, the gate will be closed. The completion timeline for the main, middle and west ramps is March 2014.