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Conservation - News

Posted on: December 1, 2022

McFarland Lake Renovations are Underway

McFarland Renovation zone closure map

McFarland Lake Renovations are Underway

McFarland Lake, built in the 1940s, has never seen any large-scale updates or construction – until now. The average impounded lake in Iowa has a “healthy” lifespan of about 30 years and McFarland Lake is due for improvements, set to begin by Monday, Dec. 5.

The renovation’s main objective is to improve water quality. Siltation over the years has caused many shallow areas, creating the need for the basin to be dug out to original depths. Construction crews will breech the existing dam to drain the lake, put a new control structure in place, and dig out the basin, while also building additional fishing structure. The lake will fill naturally and fish will be restocked once construction is complete.   

By Monday, Dec. 5, McFarland Lake and the surrounding paved Touch-A-Life Trail will become a construction site and close to the public. These areas will remain closed for the duration of the project. The rest of McFarland Park will remain open (i.e. the soft/unpaved trails, Conservation Center, and playscape). 

McFarland Lake and paved trails closed, now where am I supposed to go?

For accessible fishing in a stocked lake, stop by Dakins Lake (Zearing) or Hickory Grove Park (Colo). For accessible, hard surface trails we recommend Tedesco Environmental Learning Corridor (south Ames) or Ada Hayden Heritage Park (north Ames). 


McFarland Renovation zone closure map


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