General Meeting

Friends of Lake Manawa General Meeting Minutes
Monday, May 7, 2007
Fish and Game Club
7:00 P.M.

Norm Colyer called the meeting to order at 7:05. He introduced the steering committee and technical committee members present and elected officials. He gave a brief background of the group. Norm then presented John Maehl with an appreciation plaque from the friends of Lake Manawa for all his public and private efforts in behalf of the lake. He announced that John was leaving us to take a position as Supervisor of the Northwest Iowa DNR district.

John Maehl gave a brief history of the dredge project and then introduced Mike McGhee from DNR fisheries who works with the lake restoration projects. Mike told the group that they have put out bids for a consulting company to do a cost/risk/benefit analysis, with the specific water quality goals to include an average depth of approximately 10 feet and water clarity to 4 feet. Hiring the outside consulting firm is necessary due the secondary objective of obtaining deeper sand for the DOT roads projects and the concerns about disturbing the seal between the lake and the Missouir River. The DNR has $80,000 – $100,000 budgeted for this. They are looking for 20-25% of this money, approximately $25,000, to come from local contributions. The total project cost will be about $15-20 million. If significant spoils can be sold to the DOT it will bring the cost of project way down. Lake restoration projects are locally driven by concerned citizen groups – i.e. Friends of Lake Manawa. The lake restoration project will include watershed needs. Mike handed out the Lake Restoration Prioritization Process and Program.
Manawa is unique for an oxbow of the Missouri because its water levels don’t fluctuate with river. It is thought that the sediment/clay layer might act as a hydraulic seal between the lake and the river. One option being considered is to take the sand out and lower the silt layer, possibly reducing its thickness. The study needs to proceed quickly because the DOT needs the spoils in 1 – 1 ½ years. We will have to push to get things done. In answering questions Mike relayed that the trees and previous dredge spoils on the south side of the park dikes were removed for the DOT interstate construction project which resulted in a considerable savings for the dredge project due to the ready made spoils site. The area south of the dike will eventually be returned to a natural state.

Chris Larson, the Southwest Iowa District Fisheries Supervisor, reported that yellow bass have an impact on Manawa, but not as great as other lakes in the area. There are no fisheries plan for yellow bass at this time. They will continue to stock walleye and wiper. Other lake management plans will include reducing algal bloom by monitoring phosphorus levels and looking for outside nutrients entering the lake, adding rooted vegetation to improve fish habitats, shoreline stabilization, and improving fishing access.

Kevin Seevers summarized the Lake Management Plan process. The technical advisory team and steering committee will schedule the first public meeting a.s.a.p. due to the public support necessary for the dredge project. The Lake Management Plan sponsor will be the Friends of Lake Manawa. Kevin Seevers will be the manager. The Technical Advisory Committee is in place and has been meeting to formulate their plan to be presented at the first public meeting. The educator is yet to be determined. Mike McGhee suggested we make sure that the state senators are invited and present at as many of our meetings as possible. The first public meeting date is undetermined at this time. It should be in early June. The steering and technical committees will contact stakeholders and the public with meeting details. The public can check our website: for committee progress, dates of public meetings and links to DNR lake restoration sites. They were also informed that they can send any questions to

Norm Colyer noted that Lake Manawa is mostly dependent on ground water levels. As more demands are placed on our ground water due to the industrial growth in the area, the quality and availability of Mosquito Creek watershed water becomes increasingly more important.

Jeff Kelly gave some of the background of the revitalization of the Friends of Lake Manawa. Activities so far include a trip to Storm Lake to learn about their friends group, the reorganization of the group, the forming of the steering and technical advisory committees, a meeting with Mike Gronstal and Paul Shomshor concerning the stalling out of the joint DOT/DNR dredge project, the construction of the website and a membership drive.

Additional public concerns were discussed: a park entrance fee and what we can do about people who litter and abuse the park?. At this time there is no acceptable way to impose an entrance fee. If the public notices someone littering the can call Keep Iowa Beautiful or inform the police who can arrest litterers before they leave the site.

Sue Walsh stressed the importance of gaining as much public support for Lake Manawa Projects as possible. She asked all members present to download a Friends of Manawa sign up sheet to take with them to get as many members as possible.

Norm Colyer thanked the Fish and Game Club for allowing us to use their meeting room and Mary Sellers for her extensive work on the Lake Manawa Annual Clean up day. He also thanked John Maehl again for all he has done to help us begin this process.