Lake Restoration Plan & Goals

hgp plan

Project Goals

  • Improve water quality and clarity in Hickory Grove Lake
  • Improve fish habitat and angling opportunities
  • Increase aesthetic value and improve recreational opportunities
  • Increase public awareness of water quality issues and watershed management
  • Decrease soil erosion

Project Plan

Construction included in-park watershed improvements to stabilize areas that were actively eroding and rehabilitation of existing sediment catch basins to prevent nutrients and sediments from entering the lake. In-lake restoration work included the removal of excess sediment from arms of the lake, shoreline stabilization, rock check dams in gullies, fish habitat improvements, and updating the lake’s outlet infrastructure. A partial lake drawdown began August 6, 2018 and the entire restoration was slated to take 2-4 years. Click here to view a tentative timeline

The most notable amenity changes include a foot bridge to the island. Expanded truck and boat trailer parking was added at both boat ramps. The north ramp now has room for two trucks and trailers to back in at one time and also has two separate docks to ease boat traffic. Large fishing jetties were added to the southwest corner of the lake. The east lake and portions of the main lake were mechanically dredged, and the fishery will be renovated. Fish will thrive with added habitat. Rock piles, reefs, structure, and lake-edge benches were added throughout the 98-acre lake. 

View the restoration plan. 

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Hickory Grove Lake is currently on the impaired water body list due to bacteria and algae. 

The Federal Clean Water Act requires states to assess their waterbodies every even numbered year and incorporate these assessments into the 305(b) Water Quality Assessment Report. Assessed lakes and streams that do not meet the Iowa Water Quality Standards (WQS) criteria are placed on the 303(d) Impaired Waters List. Subsequently, a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for each pollutant must be calculated and a WQIP written for each impaired water body.

A TMDL is a calculation of the maximum amount of pollution that a waterbody can tolerate without exceeding WQS and impairing the waterbody’s designated uses.