Project Updates

Beginning in July of 2013, the Easter Lake Watershed Project started taking on improvement projects to restore Easter Lake and improve water quality to make Easter Lake a sustainable resource providing diverse outdoor recreational activities for all visitors.

Throughout the Project’s life we have been working on completing projects as set by the Easter Lake Watershed Management plan while also taking on additional projects to reach our water quality goals. See below for what we have accomplished so far and where we are headed for the future.

Regular updates on individual projects will be added as more information is available.

Lake Renovations

Easter Lake Fishery Improvements

Improvements in the Watershed

Fisheries Improvements

Overview The Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Polk County Conservation Board, and Central Iowa Anglers are working to enhance the fishery at Easter Lake. These exciting improvements include shoreline stabilization and deepening, removal of excess sediment, and construction of an in-lake silt pond. A fish rearing pond was constructed near the lake to rear Walleye … Continue reading Fisheries Improvements

Lake Renovations

Lake Impairments Overview Since its creation in 1967, Easter Lake has faced diminishing water quality due to high sediment and phosphorus loads originating in its predominantly urban watershed. Over the years, water quality has become poor in Easter Lake. The lake has shrunk from its original size in both surface area and volume. Sedimentation and … Continue reading Lake Renovations

Easter Lake Fish Stocking Plan

Part of the many exciting renovations at Easter Lake involves the improvement of the fishery and long awaited restocking of the lake. In late 2018, internal lake restoration work was completed resulting in the removal of 678,000 cubic yards of sediment and over 4 miles of shoreline stabilization to improve water quality. Additionally, 130 fish … Continue reading Easter Lake Fish Stocking Plan

Spillway Improvements

Construction for the dam and spillway at Easter Lake began in 1965. In 1967, Easter Lake was officially opened. As part of the Easter Lake Water Quality Management Plan, it was established that repairs and adjustments to the spillway would be needed to sustain an effective fisheries restoration. On November 2, 2015 draining of Easter … Continue reading Spillway Improvements

Lake Dredging

The removal of excess sediment from Easter Lake is a key component of the lake restoration plan. Since its creation in 1967, Easter Lake has lost 30% of its lake volume due to sedimentation. Excess sediment has accumulated in the lake bed overtime decreasing the lake’s volume, increasing phosphorus, and overall decreasing water quality. The … Continue reading Lake Dredging

Fish Rearing Pond Improvements

The original fish rearing pond located at Easter Lake was constructed in 1982. In the past, this pond has been used to rear walleye and largemouth bass fingerlings. Beginning in late 2015, repairs to the rearing pond began. As part of the repairs, pond leaks were fixed and the pond basin was graded. Additionally, a … Continue reading Fish Rearing Pond Improvements

Fish Habitat Installation

As part of the many exciting improvements to Easter Lake’s fishery, 130 new fish habitat structures have been placed throughout the lake bed in 2018. These fish habitat structures include cedar trees, spawning beds, catfish hides, and rock piles. These structures, created by mainly recycled materials, will provide valuable habitat benefits and help to maintain … Continue reading Fish Habitat Installation

Woodland Restoration

The presence of invasive species within the woodland areas of the Easter Lake Watershed has caused the contribution of abnormal amounts of sediment into Easter Lake. The 891 acres of woodland within the watershed are estimated to contribute 36 tons of sediment and 125 pounds of phosphorus each year into Easter Lake decreasing water quality. Historically land … Continue reading Woodland Restoration