Morse Lake restoration topic of July 10 meeting

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will discuss plans to improve Morse Lake during a public meeting on July 10. The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m., at the Lake Cornelia Shelter, on the north end of Lake Cornelia.

Morse Lake suffers from poor water quality due to resuspension of silt and the lack of aquatic vegetation that is caused by a high population of carp. TJ Herrick, wildlife biologist for the DNR, said plan is to lower the lake level to jump start the return of aquatic plants, eliminate the fish and install a new water control structure that will allow them to simulate natural water level fluctuations.

The project includes a wetland restoration downstream and a fish barrier below the wetland to prevent fish from entering the wetland and Morse Lake. Once the renovation is complete, Morse Lake will be stocked with a mix of northern pike, yellow perch, largemouth bass and bluegill. Catchable fish will return by the end of the second year. The improved water quality will also benefit waterfowl and other wildlife.