08005-002 Silver Lake Watershed Final Report

(2014) 08005-002 Silver Lake Watershed Final Report. Agriculture and Land Stewardship

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Abstract

Silver Lake is located in an 18,053-acre watershed. The watershed is intensively farmed with almost all of the wetlands being previously drained or degraded over the last 50 years. Silver Lake is listed on the State of Iowa’s impaired water bodies list due to sediment and high nutrient level. Silver Lake is also known be in the bottom 25 percentile of Iowa’s lakes due Secchi disk readings and Chlorophyll a level. Farming in the watershed is the principle concern and cause for many of the problems occurring in Silver Lake currently with 78% of the watershed being intensively farmed. There are two major drainage ditches that have been used to drain the major wetlands and sloughs that, at one time, filtered the water and slowed it down before it reached Silver Lake. With these two major drainage ditches, water is able to reach the lake much faster and unfiltered than it once did historically. The loss of 255 restorable wetland basins to row crop production has caused serious problems in Silver Lake. These wetland basins once slowed and filtered water as it moved through the watershed. With their loss over the last 50 years that traditional drainage no longer occurs. We propose to create a Wetland Reserve Program incentive project to make WRP a more attractive option to landowners within the watershed. The incentive will be based on the amount of sediment delivery reduction to the lake, therefore paying a greater payment for a greater benefit to the lake. The expected result of this project is the restoration of over 250 acres of wetland basins with an associated 650 acres of upland buffers. The benefit for these wetlands and buffers would be reduced sediment, reduced nutrients, and slowed waters to the lake.

Item Type: Departmental Report
Keywords: Watershed Improvement Review Board, WIRB, water quality, watershed, Dickinson County, Silver Lake, Osceola County Soil and Water Conservation District
Subjects: Natural resources and environment > Water resources > Water quality
Natural resources and environment > Water resources > Watersheds
ID Code: 21198
Deposited By: Jerome Neppel
Deposited On: 26 Feb 2016 18:57
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2016 18:57
URI: http://publications.iowa.gov/id/eprint/21198