Plans underway to improve Lake Miami
ALBIA — Lake Miami will take its first step toward becoming an excellent fishery again when the lake level is lowered 6 feet in August to eliminate the unbalanced fish population causing water quality problems and poor fishing.
The lake will be restocked this fall and again in 2014. Quality fishing should return in 2016.
“By 2016, we will have quality fishing for bluegill, crappie, largemouth bass, and channel catfish,” said Mark Flammang, fisheries biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
The fish renovation is one part of an overall lake restoration that will occur in phases as the funding becomes available. The lake restoration plan will be discussed at a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 12 in the Monroe County Nature Center at Lake Miami Park.
The Iowa DNR will partner with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Monroe County Soil and Water Conservation District and Monroe County Conservation Board to identify sources delivering sediment to the lake from private and public land, and carry out a plan to reduce it.
“Ultimately, when all sources of poor water quality are addressed, anglers and park users will find a much improved Lake Miami,” Flammang said.
The 122-acre lake 7 miles northwest of Albia has a strong history as an excellent crappie fishing lake, but has declined dramatically as the water quality problems increased.
Lake Miami is part of Lake Miami Park that is run by the Monroe County Conservation Board and offers camping, cabin rental, hiking trails and more. The park will remain open while the renovation is underway.
The Iowa DNR will relax the fishing regulations at Lake Miami beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday to allow anglers to more freely harvest game fish before the lake is renovated.
The fishery in the lake has changed dramatically since there was an uptick in the carp population. What had been an outstanding crappie fishery has suffered the near complete loss of quality fishing.
Fisheries staff from the Iowa DNR is currently rescuing as many game fish as possible and transplanting them to other area lakes.
Anglers with a valid fishing license will be allowed to harvest any size or number of largemouth bass, channel catfish and all other fish species from Lake Miami. Any number of fishing poles or jugs will be allowed. Anglers must remain in sight of these lines at all times and follow all other fishing regulations and area rules. Trot lines will be allowed, with name and address attached, however lines may not be set across the entire water body.
Nets, dynamite, poison, electric shocking devices or any stupefying substances will not be allowed. It is illegal to sell fish or stock captured fish into public waters.
Liberalized fishing regulations for Lake Miami will remain in effect until the lake is renovated.