FOLM Annual Meeting Minutes October 2023

FOLM 2023 Annual Meeting – Minutes
October 11, 2023
Council Bluffs Fish & Game Club
President Tom Braddy called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
Board Members: Tom Braddy, Joni Elliff, Tony Host, Luke Northwall, Ron Tekippe, Gary Woods,
Marge Shoemaker.
IDNR: Sherry Arntzen, Parks Bureau Chief; Michelle Reinig, Parks Supervisor; Pete Hildreth, DNR
Conservation & Recreation Division Administrator; Bryan Hayes, Fisheries Biologist; George
Antoniou, Lake Restoration Program; Brian L. Smith, State Conservation Officer Supervisor;
Richard Price, Iowa DNR Conservation Officer; Adam Gacke, Iowa Conservation Officer, Gavin
Campbell, NRT Lake Manawa/Wilson Island.
Legislators: Brent Siegrist, Dan Dawson, Josh Turek
ABSENT: Board Member David Holcomb (excused); Grant Carstens, Park Manager (excused)
Approximately 60 FOLM Members attended.
President Tom Braddy called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. then introduced Guests and
Board Members.
Motion: Approve Minutes from 2022 Annual Meeting as submitted and corrected. Carried.
Election of Board Members: Tom Braddy, Luke Northwall, Gary Woods Motion: Elect by voice
vote. Carried. Candidates unanimously reelected.
Treasurer: Luke handed out copies. (attached)
Revenues (dues and donations) Total: $526
Expenses: General: insurance, Domain name, PayPal fees, P.O. Box, Income Tax Return,
Bank Charges, Fireworks donation: Total $1904.
Expenses are in excess of Revenue ($1378)
Account Balances: General: $7225; Fishing Derby: $6034; Playground: $9894.
Total: $21, 388. Certificate of Deposit: $15,775.
Spring & Fall Clean-Up Days: Joni & Marge report approximately 30 attended the Spring event,
meeting at the Playground on a sunny Sunday, May 7, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. Only 6 attended the
Fall event on a rain-threatened Saturday, September 23, 2023, meeting at Site 5 at 10:00 a.m.
The Fall event was covered by the Daily Nonpareil both by video and in print.
Fireworks: FOLM as a group is no longer actively involved with the Manawa Fireworks Show,
we do support the show and several Board members serve on the committee. They report that

the 2023 Show was well attended, supported by the public, and appreciated. The 2024
Fireworks is planned to be as big if not bigger than 2023.
Playground Maintenance: Chris Anunson, Park Ranger covering weekends at Manawa since
Park Manager Grant Carstens is on deployment with National Guard Duty, scheduled a “Mulch
the Playground” day on July 24 th at 6:00 p.m. Volunteers spread the mulch; staff did some
necessary repairs.
Bryan Hayes, Fisheries Biologist, spoke on several subjects related to the lake.
Restoration: The first two stages of the dredge have been completed. The lake is
currently being allowed to “settle” and the fish given time to adapt to new depths. Stocking
game fish continues annually using fingerlings. Some big fish have reportedly been caught such
as a 38-pound Channel Cat and a state record 101-pound Blue Channel Cat.
Lotus control: Park and DNR staff started spraying as a control measure in 2013.
Treatment was again applied in 2016, using DNR equipment. A contractor was hired in 2020,
2021, and 2022 and directed to spray a combined 30 acres in various parts of the lake each
year. That directive was upped to 50 acres in 2023. Use of a boat to reach more parts of the
growth area isn’t possible because wake water washes off the spray. Use of a drone has been
considered as more efficient. However, drone certification is needed before the project can
take off. It is noted growth areas have increased considerably in the last few years.
Fish habitat: A $75,000 project to build rock reefs in certain parts pf the lake has been
put on hold. The low water situation doesn’t allow the contractor to barge in material.
Michelle Reinig, Parks Supervisor, spoke on several projects accomplished in the past
Directional signage: Newly designed and more durable signs, made of metal rather than
wood, have been erected at all entrances and long the roadway.
Bike path: path improvement was accomplished through a joint effort between the
IDNR and the City. The path was widened and repaved with patch overlay.
Swimming Beach: The concession building has been refreshed with new roofing where
necessary and improved facilities within the building.
Hazard trees: Handling of dead trees is an ongoing project being addressed according to
plan by park staff. Resources are limited.
Park staffing: Gavin Campbell has been appointed interim Park Manager while Grant
Carstens is on deployment and is also on staff at Wilson Island SRA. Chris Anunson, current
Ranger at Wilson Island SRA, is sharing duties with Lake Manawa SP. Additional support in
enforcement comes from the Iowa State Patrol, Council Bluffs police department, and IDNR
Conservation Officers.
Possible candidates for additional staff members are not available. Lack of interview
candidates is occurring in all areas…not just in the parks. There is currently a Park Ranger
Training Class in session which should provide qualified replacements.
Campground: The Campground has completed its first full year. During that time a Pilot
Project for online reservations has proved helpful…especially with the scarcity of staff.

West Boat Ramp: The current budget has monies set aside for new dock, ramp, and
parking lot. It is planned that work be completed prior to the onset of the 2024 boating season.
Gavin Campbell, Interim Park Manager: Plans are to remove utilities from the old
campground area to make it more useful as a day use area. Hazard trees and limbs will also be
removed by regular park staff and part-time help.
Brian Smith, State Conservation 0fficer Supervisor, has been with the department for
30 years. Conservation officers are state certified enforcement officers, assigned by county,
where they deal with hunting, fishing, tapping and ATV law enforcement. Rangers are assigned
to parks where they deal with the same types of problems.
There’s a great deal of cooperation within departments. The area includes 35 miles of
river, fishing holes, lakes (including Lake Manawa and Carter Lake) spread across 24 counties.
The staff of 4 is required to answer phone calls 24/7.
The river and lakes are busiest from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The 4 Water Patrol
personnel spent 95% of the time in 2023 at Manawa issuing 800 citations and warnings which
were primarily fishing or boating related. No incidents/accidents were reported.
The Water Patrol Officer program is seasonal. Trainees are usually college students from
across the nation and are not paid and are not armed. The program is paid for by the US Coast
Guard and Manawa staff helps with training. Applications are accepted all year; interviews are
generally held in January for the following season. Most applicants are interested in a career in
law enforcement.
George Antoniou, head of the Lake Restoration Program, addressed the water level
problem. Because Manawa is a “cut off” or “ox bow” lake formed when the river changed its
course there is no natural inflow, except storm runoff from the local area, to maintain water
level. The “Tube” has been the primary method of controlling water level since 2010. While the
dredge was going on the water quality has been monitored regularly. The results are positive
with low phosphate and algae levels.
Water clarity might be improved by using alum (a brine-like substance) that attracts
impurities in the water. Usage of alum in Carter Lake made the water so clear that plant growth
increased to an undesirable level. Consideration has been given to providing a “wetlands area”
to hold water from Mosquito Creek, allowing impurities to leach out before transferring water
to Manawa. It is thought that holding the water would negatively affect quality of the water
table below the holding area in a manner that would not be offset by the gains of transfer to
Watershed studies have been made of the entire area. Most of the runoff comes from
rainwater draining from roofs, driveways, and streets surrounding the lake. Permeable
pavement, installed on streets in the residential area north of the lake has helped leach some
contaminants from runoff before it enters the lake.
All the ox bow lakes along the Missouri River watershed are low. The water level is tied
to the water table. The area is in an extended drought period, causing the water table to reach
an all-time low.

Gavin commented that the “Tube” has been fully open since early spring. It is checked
regularly and only shut when needing clearing or repairs. Staff felt water level was more
important this year than clarity.
Pete Hildreth, DNR Conservation & Recreation Division Administrator, spoke regarding
Lake level. In a “normal” year the river level affects the lake level. This is not a “normal” year.
Severe drought conditions have affected the entire watershed area. Carter Lake water level is
down 4 feet; Manawa is down two feet. Mosquito Creek flow is down…no water is going over
the dam.
A study was made prior to the dredge regarding the water table level and what effect
the dredge might have. It was determined that, if the seal in the lakebed was not broken, the
effect on the water table would be negligible. The water treatment plant by Indian Creek was
not there when the study was made.
He used this analogy to explain the hydraulic relationship: Nest two 5-gallon buckets,
the bottom one with a solid bottom & the top one with holes in the bottom. If you pour water
in the top bucket, it will flow through the bottom and will not fill the top bucket until the
bottom one is full. The bottom bucket is the water table; the top bucket is the lake. Because the
drought is widespread and long lasting it will take time and a lot of natural moisture in the form
of snow cover and rain to ease conditions. He emphasized it is NOT JUST LOCAL!
Sherry Arntzen, Parks Bureau Chief, added to the discussion of increasing park staff.
Human Resources listed the job classification of Park Ranger involving enforcement. Many
possible candidates don’t want to be involved with enforcement. HR has updated the
classification to include Conservation Officer. This IS NOT lowering the bar but increasing
desirability. Still, some candidates would be capable but are not trained in Natural Resources.
Regarding providing residences for park staff, most of the housing currently available is
old and needs maintenance. Few of the State Parks have housing available. Existing housing
might be sold (the structure is on state land so the property would not be included.) Staff is
encouraged to find their own housing as close to the job as possible.
Pay is not related to housing. Park hours are from 4:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Fulltime staff
is on duty during park hours…except on days off.
Adam Gacke, Iowa Conservation Officer, commented that the problem of low-cost
housing exists even in the National Park System. Seasonal help in some areas is housed by
residents of nearby communities, much as summer baseball teams find housing during
tournaments. Having an officer on-site doesn’t appear to be a significant deterrent to
vandalism and other problems. Local staff at Manawa has a good partnership with local
enforcement agencies. The addition of electronic gates has made a significant difference in the
number of calls.
Brent Siegrist, Iowa Legislator, commented that significant monies have been made
available for infrastructure in the area. If legislators are made aware of problems, they will

Dan Dawson, Iowa Legislator, commented that it takes a unique individual to be more
law enforcement than conservation. Either way, rangers and park staff are often required to be
available, even when not on-site, 24/7. This commitment interrupts family life. They deserve all
the respect the public can give.
Josh Turek, Iowa Legislator with Carter Lake in his jurisdiction, says he is required to
plan with the Nebraska DNR and the City of Omaha. Carter Lake isn’t a state park but is situated
in an area of Iowa surrounded by Nebraska. There are restrictions in place regarding boat lifts in
public waters. He would like to see Iowa match Nebraska standards.
Q AND A: (speakers are not identified)
Regarding housing: is the DNR looking at options? Is it possible to sell current properties? Some
of the properties are of historical interest. Current occupants must vacate residences by
December 31, 2023. If the property is sold it would be for salvage. We can’t sell state-owned
Is it possible to have more speed limit signs posted? There seem to be a lot of drivers either
ignorant of the speed limit or ignoring what signs there are.
Is it possible to divert Mosquito Creek to flow through Lake Manawa and into Indian Creek? If
possible, would it more efficiently increase the water level? Ox Bow and Cut-off lakes don’t
have a direct feed. They were at one time part of the river.
What is the status of the zebra mussel? They’re present but not in great numbers. We don’t
find many shells.
Regarding the Eleventh Street entrance: Is it possible to off-set the stop signs at that corner?
It’s at a sharp right angle and difficult to make when traffic is at both stop signs and either or
both are hauling trailers. An engineering study of the area is planned for the next few weeks.
Re: Park User Fee: How much money is generated? Who pays? Non-residents driving through
the park ARE NOT required to pay the fee. Visitors to the swimming beach, shelter rental
events, or the campground ARE NOT required to pay the fee. Anyone who is picnicking, fishing,
or launching their boat, or otherwise using park facilities IS required to pay the fee. Waubonsie
and Manawa State Parks are involved in the User Fee Pilot Project. Fees have increased. Users
should have a Fee Paid notice on the dashboard or on the windshield. Signage at payment posts
has been changed to reflect these requirements.
Meeting Adjourned 9:15 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Marge Shoemaker, Secretary