Jemmerson Slough Phase II

Aerial view of Jemmerson Slough Wildlife Management Area; photo courtesy of the Iowa DNR

Recognized as a key waterfowl production and migratory bird staging area, Jemmerson Slough Wildlife Management Area is 932 acres with 310 acres of wetland basins surrounded by restored native prairie. Once considered a healthy marsh interspersed with emergent vegetation and open water, this wetland complex has slowly deteriorated over time. High water levels and pervasive rough fish problems have diminished the water quality and aquatic plant community leading to reduced forage value for waterfowl and other wetland-dependent species.

Ducks Unlimited and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources have completed the second phase of a multi-phase project to enhance the degraded marsh and improve downstream water quality. Jemmerson Slough is connected downstream to the Center Lake Complex that eventually flows into West Okoboji Lake, a major recreational and fishing lake.

To improve 230 acres on Jemmerson Slough, the partners installed a permanent pumping station, underground outlet pipe, water control structures and a modified grate-style fish barrier at the marsh’s outlet. These improvements will allow DNR managers to draw down the basins to mimic historic natural wet and dry cycles.

See press release on the project.

Jemmerson Slough WMA watershed; courtesy of the Iowa DNR