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.
Easter Lake Fishery Improvements
- Fisheries Improvements Overview
- Fish Habitat Installation
- Fish Stocking Plan
- Spillway Improvements
- Fish Rearing Pond Improvements
Improvements in the Watershed
Polk County Conservation, September 2017- The Easter Lake Renovation is making progress toward our common goal. It is a complicated project involving but not limited to restoring the watershed, cleaning up the lake waters, renovating the fishery, and making multiple improvements to the park including a multiuse trail, sediment basins, shoreline restoration, boat ramp rebuild, … Continue reading Capital Project Timeline Update
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 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
From the time Easter Lake was created in 1967 to 2012, the lake lost nearly 30% of its volume due to sedimentation. 60% of this sediment was attributed to stream bank erosion, primarily in Yeader Creek. Stabilization projects will help to reduce erosion, and sediment and phosphorus loading into Easter Lake improving water quality. January … Continue reading Phase Two Yeader Creek Stabilization
February 26, 2020 Update The City of Des Moines would like to update residents within the Three Lakes Neighborhood concerning progress and schedule for the Easter Lake South Watershed Pond Dredging and Improvements. Construction began during the summer of 2019 on Basin 4, west of Three Lakes Parkway and has continued to basins south (Basin … Continue reading Three Lakes Estates Detention Pond Improvements
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
Since the creation of Easter Lake in 1967, 30% of the lake’s volume has been lost to siltation. An estimated 60% of the contributing sediment is attributed to bank erosion, mainly from Yeader Creek. About Yeader Creek Yeader Creek is the main water source for Easter Lake. Starting near the Des Moines International Airport and … Continue reading Phase One Yeader Creek Stabilization
At Easter Lake there is a total of 35,300 linear feet of shoreline. Through the years, shoreline erosion in Easter Lake has contributed to the loss of surface acreage, depth, and habitat. Shoreline erosion is a natural process that can be increased by physical factors such as wind/wave action, ice heave, recreational use, and lack … Continue reading Shoreline Stabilization & Jetty Construction
To protect Easter Lake into the future from sedimentation and pollution, project partners are working together to make improvements upstream in the watershed. These improvements are aimed at reducing and treating stormwater runoff before it reaches Easter Lake. Project Background In every urban neighborhood there is a network of pipes underground to control stormwater runoff … Continue reading Easter Lake Park Stream Stabilization Project
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
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
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
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
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