The Living Lakes Initiative area that includes north central Iowa is a top priority for Ducks Unlimited conservation efforts.

Partnerships enable restoration efforts on these high duck use areas, and Rice Lake is no exception.

DU worked with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to enhance the 1,020-acre lake in Winnebago County and enable water depth management. The lake in recent years has kept a constant water level with some deeper areas. This lack of water level fluctuation discouraged waterfowl-attractive vegetation from growing.

During the drought in 2013 water levels naturally dropped. The DNR took advantage of this to further drain the lake. A strong response in plant variety and quantity meant a great duck response that fall.

In 2015 DU installed a water control structure on the lake that will allow the DNR to continue raising and lowering water levels to mimic natural hydrology cycles.

Based on past experience, fish growth should be extraordinary and offer some great walleye and perch fishing in just a couple years.

February 2016