Green Valley State Park to Receive Major Facelift
Iowa Department of Natural Resources fisheries staff began lowering the lake July 9. It is anticipated the lake will be inaccessible by boat, and that all marker buoys and docks will be removed, by Friday. The fishery will be eliminated in September to remove carp and yellow bass. All other park activities–including camping, cabin rental and fishing-will remain open in the meantime.
Gary Sobotka, area fisheries biologist leading the lake improvement project, said while the water level is down, he plans to install water quality improvements in the watershed, deepen some of the sediment dikes and add stabilization structures around the lake. He said they will add fish-attracting structures around the lake and perform routine maintenance on the fishing jetties. There will also be some concrete work on the emergency spillway.
“The lake restoration program will allow us to do more extensive work, remove a lot more sediment and improve the water quality tremendously,” Sobotka said.
“We should have the infrastructure in place for a self sustaining fishery for several years. But the key is getting the carp out of the lake,” Sobotka said. “Yellow bass are also a problem. We cannot get along with yellow bass in this part of the state.”
He said the lake will be restocked this fall with largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish and crappie. Channel catfish should begin showing up the year after renovation and other species will begin later that same year, but everything should be going well in year three. The lake work is expected to be completed in the winter, then the lake will be allowed to refill.
Major campground renovation and park development work will begin sometime after the 2008 camping season. Scheduled work includes increasing the size of the individual sites, adding rock to the camping pads and living spaces, installing new grills and increasing the electrical service to 50 amps. At least 10 of the 90 electrical sites will offer full hookups. Since the new campsites will be larger, there will be fewer non-electric sites.
The increased space between campsites will create a much more user-friendly environment, said Angela Corio, landscape architect for the DNR’s State Parks Bureau. Less congestion also means a safer environment for vehicle traffic and pedestrians.
The schedule calls for the campsite work to be finished by mid summer 2009.
Beginning in the fall of 2009, an additional family shower building will be constructed. The family shower building will have individual outside entrances for each room and each room will have a toilet as well as a shower. This new family shower building will be unisex.
New latrines will replace the pit latrines at the boat ramp and campground. An additional camping cabin and latrine will be added to the area where the two cabins are located. The cabin is being funded by grants and donations from Endow Union County, High Lakes Alliance and the DNR.
The park improvement includes paving the one mile trail connection from Mitchell Marsh north of Creston, on north to the park that will connect Green Valley State Park to Creston.