Lake Management Plan Public Meeting 1

Lake Management Plan Meeting #1
Wednesday, June 20th 2007
7:00 – Lake Manawa Country Club


The meeting began with representatives of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources giving overview presentations on various aspects of Lake Manawa.  Don DeLong, DNR park ranger, spoke on the history of Lake Manawa.  The oxbow lake was formed as the result of flood waters cutting a new channel for the Missouri River in 1881.  It was initially called Cut Off Lake.  In 1933 it was designated as a state park and officially named Manawa meaning peace and comfort.  The first lake dredge was done in 1930 by a group of volunteers called the Manawa Mud Daubers.  The North Shore peninsula was formed from the first dredge spoils.  The park has over a million and a half visitors each year, thus making it one of the, if not the most visited park in the state of Iowa.


Brian Hayes, a DNR Fisheries Biologist related the fisheries department’s three main concerns:  water quality, species diversity and habitat improvement.  He related that it is hard to control the fish populations because the fish that are in Mosquito Creek can migrate into the lake.  Of the 60% of all Iowans that visit the state’s lakes at least once a year, most valued are:  safety from bacterial contamination, water clarity, quality swimming areas and fish quality.  Lake Manawa is on the 303d list of impaired waters because it is not fully meeting its intended use as a primary contact lake (swimming) due to water turbidity and algae.


Thad Nanfito, a DNR Environmental Specialist then talked on backyard ecology.  Lake Manawa is mainly polluted by surface drainage via road ditches and surface culverts, silt from new housing development, and excessive fertilizer and pesticides from adjacent lawns.  Thad suggested public education concerning the value of rain gardens and the use of fertilizer with little or no phosphates.


Mike McGhee then reviewed progress on the upcoming dredge.  Lake Manawa has an average depth of just over 6 feet.  The breakpoint for the improvement of water quality due to depth is 10 feet.  At 6 feet the wind and wave action resuspending the bottom sediments.  The average water clarity is from 12-18 inches.  The goal after dredging would be from 4-4.5 feet 50% of the time from April through October.  The Lake Restoration Process should address the water quality issues in the watershed and then commission an environmental consulting firm to develop a game plan and cost estimate to restore and improve water quality.  The DNR will then go to the legislature with a request for funds.  The advantage of the Department of Transportation involvement is that they will foot a significant portion of the dredge bill by buying the dredge material for their road construction needs.  Critical issues will be whether it is feasible to get at the sand that the DOT wants for road construction without harming the seal between Lake Manawa and the Missouri River and the quality of the dredge material.  The process will be a partnership between the DNR, governmental agencies and the citizens of the Council Bluffs area.  If we can improve water quality we can shift fish populations to the more desirable species.


During the second half of the meeting facilitated small groups were formed in which attendees generated lists of concerns, issues, and opportunities that they felt should be addressed in a watershed management plan for Lake Manawa.   The concerns identified by the small groups were compiled into a comprehensive list, and posted on the wall in order that the entire group might prioritize the topics for action.


The public meeting participants identified a total of 89 issues and concerns about Lake Manawa and the surrounding watershed.  Each person was given 8 “sticky dots” which they could place next to the issue(s) about which they felt most strongly.  The voting results were as follows:


Creek silting basin (drain basin for Mosquito Creek – natural filter 25
Stability of water level 17
Water quality – turbidity, fishing, boating, swimming 16
Dredge 13
Dredge/better fishing 13
Dredging – FAST 10
Remove as much silt as possible 10
Storm sewers – near lake and also surrounding areas 9
Water quality 8
Shoreline riprap entire lake 8
Water clarity/dredging 6
Algae free 5
Turbidity/dredge 4
East side need storm sewers 2
Shore stabilization 2
Water flow (ingress/egress) – Mosquito Creek, Indian Creek, surface water flow, ground water flow 2
Water level  – Mosquito Creek 1
Rain gardens 1
Improve fishing 1
Shoreline stability during/after dredge? How close to shore 1
Moving campground 12
Do NOT move campground 8
Campground (move to North side of lake) 6
More camp area 6
Move campground/planning IA West Grant 3
Fundraising activities to improve campgrounds 1
Rules enforcement – park, campground, water 11
Enforce laws for water and land 10
Enforcement (boating safety, etc.) 5
Park law enforcement 5
More officers – resident ranger 4
Water law enforcement coverage 4
Checkpoint into park checked for alcohol/drug 2
Close gates on time 1
SAFETY – 69  
Safety in park/campground maintain water level 11
Water safety/boating 10
Consider boating limitations (speed tips or some other measure) 8
No duck hunting on lake 8
Widening roads/improving shoulders/bike path & walking trails along the lake/safety on the roads on west side 7
Lighted walking trail/bike trail/playground 6
24-hour DNR/Manawa contact number 6
Neighborhood watch “safety issues” 5
Limit number of boats 4
Better signs/buoys for hazards 3
Swimming in non-swimming areas 1
Change user fee/restrict number to use lake 16
Park user fee/sticker to provide park services 14
User fee 9
Entry fee 7
Money making projects – pay parking 3
Litter control 8
Park area add more garbage cans 2
Steel/metal/glass trash in lake – old cars in water 7
Trash cans/service 5
More trash cans 2
More trash cans in camp/picnic areas 2
MISC. – 67
Buy fuel on the lake 12
Market the good things (but keep it secret)/educate the public 10
Multiple pollution from power plant (noise) 10
Insect control 6
Air quality of Manawa 6
jazz concerts/movie night 5
Waterfowl protection 4
Maintenance of public property adjacent to private or across the road 3
Land useage/ensure proper mix 3
Rent boating stuff 2
Iowa West community involvement 1
Google – donation 1
Reduce/control growth of parking lots 1
Wildlife appreciation and preservation 1
Park image and reputation 1
Lake housing covenant 1
DNR run marina/snack bar 10
Bike trail around lake connect to Boy Scout Island 9
New entrance at 11th St. 9
Size of culverts (for boat access) 7
Entry road 11th St. vacant lot 7
Bike paths/walking along streets 6
New entrances 5
Road improvements 4
More boat docks 3
Add bike trails around lake 3
Biking/walking trail around lake along road 3
Permanent restrooms/more picnic shelters 2
Acquire land when available 2
Add public restrooms 2
Restroom facilities for boaters 2
Cement picnic tables 1
Bike path near lake 1


Norm Colyer, President of the Friends of Lake Manawa thanked the Lake Manawa Country Club for donating the facilities and all present for their input.  The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.