Fish Barrier Update

Courtesy Mike Hawkins, Iowa DNR As you can see the footings for the new wing walls have been poured.  The insulcrete mix is still causing some workability issues, but has improved since the initial pour on the building pad.  I watched on Friday as the concrete got very thick and sticky towards the end of the pour.  The contractor … Read more

Construction on the Fish Barrier has begun

By Mike Hawkins Iowa DNR Although no dirt has moved at the site of the new electric fish barrier, it doesn’t mean that things haven’t been moving forward. An engineering firm and manufacturer of electric fish barriers, Smith- Root Inc. of Vancouver Washington, was selected on June 10th by the DNR to design and engineer abarrier capable of preventing Asian carp from entering the Iowa Great Lakes.  Smith-Root will also provide construction oversight as the project moves forward. DNR staff from Fisheries, Sovereign Lands, and Floodplains have been working with the Smith-Rootover the past months to make sure contracting, permitting, and safety concerns are all being addressed.On August 27th, a set of final design plans were delivered to the DNR. The electric fish barrier will be incorporated into the existing dam which is just west of 230th Ave on theoutlet of Lower Gar Lake. Both the engineering firm and the DNR believe that this location gives the lakes the best protection from Asian carp and the lowest risk of entrapment of fish that leave the lakes.Placing the barrier someplace downstream would have the effect of stockpiling fish that leave the lake, trapping between the dam and the barrier, and potentially causing a large fish kill as water levels fell inMilford Creek.   A barrier incorporated into the dam will keep fish from moving upstream but also have an added benefit of potentially keeping fish in the lake. The existing dam will stay in place.  A 20 foot wide apron at the same elevation as the top of the dam willextend downstream. In effect, the top of the dam will be “stretched or widened” downstream. This apron slope down slightly and contain the steel electrodes that … Read more

U of O hosts Oktoberfest Bike Ride

It was the perfect day for the Oktoberfest Bike Ride this year! Held every year on the last Saturday of September, hundreds of bikers gather at Arrowwood Resort in Okoboji for a 25-mile bike ride through the Iowa Great Lakes region. This year, Sept. 29, 2012, the weather was gorgeous and the colorful leaves were … Read more