Location: Dickinson County
Timeline: Completed Spring 2007
Partners: Iowa DNR
Funding: Iowa DNR, DU private donors, and North American Wetlands Conservation Act small grant

Project Highlights:

Diamond Lake Wildlife Management Area is a 1,099 acre property owned by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Ducks Unlimited partnered with the DNR to improve infrastructure on the lake that will facilitate habitat management. The goal of this project was to construct a functional outlet on Diamond Lake that would allow accurate water level management and promote growth of beneficial vegetation and control rough fish populations.

Engineers designed and construction crews installed the system that included burying approximately 4,100 feet of 18-inch diameter PVC pipe below the lake bottom. A 500-foot section of the pipe that runs from the lake shoreline into the lake basin is perforated and enclosed in a rock filter.

Construction occurred during winter because frozen conditions were necessary to support the contractor's equipment used to bury the pipe in the lake bottom. After construction was complete, the lake was drained in early spring. Large numbers of rough fish were eliminated and newly-established marsh vegetation soon began sprouting on the exposed mud flats. Additionally, flocks of shorebirds, waterfowl, Canada geese and wading birds were attracted to the marsh as it slowly drained.

During a DU-sponsored tour of the lake in August 2007, over 5,000 blue-winged teal and northern shovelers were observed using the shallow pool in the center of the lake. The end result of this project will be a quality shallow lake/wetland ecosystem with dramatically improved value for waterfowl and other migratory birds.

The Diamond Lake WMA is open for public use and hunting. This restoration project is part of DU's Living Lakes Initiative.