FERGUSON - Work continues on the drained lake at Green Castle Recreation Area south of Ferguson, with hopes to have it back up to speed this fall.
Mike Stegmann, director of the Marshall County Conservation Board, said they still have silt removal to do, improvements on the shore line and fish habitat work to complete before they let the lake totally refill. An infestation of common carp led to the decision to drain the lake last year.
"The fisheries down there have been degraded to the point where it was totally unproductive," Stegmann said.
The lake at Green Castle Recreation Area south of Ferguson was drained last year to make improvements. The lake is expected to be allowed to be refilled by this fall.
Stegmann's staff will start the restocking of fish in the spring and summer months of portions of the lake where there is water, leading up to them letting it totally refill in the fall.
Another improvement at the park is the addition of an 8-foot fence for the bison pasture, which currently includes four bison.
This fence, paid for by private donations, will add far more safety to the facility for both the bison and visitors to the park. Several posts have been installed already with the completion of the fence to be done when county staff has time, Stegmann said.
As if these projects aren't enough, the future of the park will also include a new campground. Stegmann said the board will be presented the final conceptual design Monday of the proposed campground by Civil Design Advantage of Grimes. From there, the county will go on a major fundraising campaign as well as look into grants to pay for the new campground. Stegmann said since the funds are not in place there is no timeline for when the campground will be built.
Stegmann said park lovers have been understanding through this process to improve the lake and its fishing conditions for the future.
"The park is one of the cornerstones of the county," Stegmann said. "Hopefully by fall we'll have most of the work down on the lake and bison pasture."
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