DES MOINES – Anglers who fish Clear Lake have a new tool to help them to catch more fish – for the first time since 1971 a new lake map is available.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) fisheries staff began a six year project mapping lakes in 2013 to provide more accurate maps for anglers and information for the lake restoration program.
“Clear Lake is the biggest lake that we’ve mapped so far,” said Lewis Bruce, fisheries technician for the DNR. “It took a week to collect the data and a week to analyze it and get the features added. It’s now online and we hope to get 25 to 30 additional lake maps added before the ice goes out this winter.”
Bruce said they rediscovered the rock reef identified on the 1971 map, but thought lost to silt.
New lake maps that will be released this winter include Brushy Creek Lake, Diamond Lake (Poweshiek County), West Lake (Osceola), Yellow Smoke Lake, Briggs Woods Lake and Beaver Lake.
The new maps are created by using special equipment hanging off the side of a boat running about five miles per hour crisscrossing the lake that collects the data.
Software will record lake depth plus information on what type of material is on the lake bed (sand, gravel, muck) and, if aquatic vegetation is present, the height and density of that vegetation. It will also collect information for lake restoration projects.
Bruce said they plan to resume mapping this summer on lakes identified as priority for the lake restoration program, like Green Valley Lake, and others like the DMACC pond.