Watershed Projects


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

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 had shrunk from its original size in both surface area and volume. Since it's conception in 2013, the Easter Lake Watershed has invested considerably into improving the lake as a recreation source for its community.

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.

Streambank Stabilization

Yeader Creek is the main water source for Easter Lake. Starting near the Des Moines International Airport and Fleur Drive, Yeader Creek runs west to east through the middle of the Easter Lake Watershed all the way to Easter Lake. During rain events, stormwater runs over these impervious surfaces, into storm drains which then outlet into Yeader Creek. During a single storm event millions of gallons of water are rushing through Yeader Creek creating flashy stream flows which can cause large amounts of stream bank erosion.

Easter Lake Fishery Improvements

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 has also been constructed near the lake to rear Walleye fingerlings for Easter Lake!

Easter Lake Recreation

Stay tuned, more information coming soon

Easter Lake Watershed Improvements

Reducing stormwater runoff and pollutant loading throughout the watershed is a critical part of restoring Easter Lake. As new developments have been built around the lake, sediment and pollutant loading into the lake has increased, resulting in poor water quality. To protect Easter Lake now and into the future, addressing new urban developments is key.



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