The Iowa Department of
Natural Resources (DNR) and Story County Conservation (SCC) plan to start
drawing down Hickory Grove Lake near Colo in early May to remove common carp.
The lake will remain drained until fall.
In 2019, SCC and the DNR
partnered to remove carp from Hickory Grove Lake by draining as much of the
lake as possible. “Post draw-down netting suggested that we had successfully
eliminated the carp,” said Ben Dodd, Iowa DNR Fisheries biologist.
“Unfortunately, we observed several adult fish last week as the lake was
refilling. Complete eradication of an undesirable species from a lake and its
watershed is a difficult task, but we’re developing a new plan to complete the
Hickory Grove Lake is a
popular outdoor recreation destination in Story County, boasting a variety of
activities including swimming, paddling, boating, watching wildlife and
angling. Water quality in the lake has declined since the early 2000’s, due to
nutrient and sediment pollution and a large population of common carp. In
recent years, carp have become so abundant in Hickory Grove Lake that they
eliminated aquatic plants from the lake.
Common Carp is an invasive
fish species that negatively impacts water quality and sport fish populations
in Iowa lakes. They uproot and destroy aquatic plants when they feed. Sediment
and nutrients are also resuspended into the water column during this process,
which can lead to increased undesirable algae blooms.
SCC and DNR recently
partnered to improve water quality and recreational opportunities at Hickory
Grove Lake through a variety of lake restoration practices, including shoreline
deepening and armoring, revamping the beach and campground area of the park,
dredging the eastern portion of the lake, making improvements to the dam and
lake outlet structure, and installing a variety of fish habitat structures in
All project partners are
committed to a successful lake restoration and will continue to strive for the
best possible result. We intend to maximize the lake’s social, physical, and
economic benefits and know that Hickory Grove Lake will again be a popular
recreation destination. We thank residents and visitors for their interest and
excitement in this project.
Media Contacts: Ben Dodd, Fisheries Management Biologist, Iowa Department of
Natural Resources; firstname.lastname@example.org;
641-891-3795, or Michael Cox, Director, Story County Conservation; email@example.com;