TECUMSEH – The Nemaha Natural Resources District is taking steps to protect a new recreational lake near Peru from sediment degradation.
Manger Bob Hilske said one of the goals of the lake project at the onset was to try and reduce the sediment that drops into the lower portion of the Duck and Buck creek watersheds. Fish habitat was another goal.
Hilske: “One of the major benefits that the dam is providing is recreation. The longer we can keep the sediment out of the main dam, where the recreation area is built around, that’s going to make the recreation area more attractive for a lot longer period of time.”
At its December meeting, NRD directors discussed the details of an agreement with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to cover 100 percent of the cost to construct a sediment basin above the Duck Creek reservoir.
The NRSC will pay up to $300,000 to construct the basin and $50,000 to hire a consultant.
Hilske said directors see the benefits sediment control for all lake uses.
Hilske: “When a lake fills up. It will start, you know, the upper reaches will fill up. Eventually it will get to the point where there is no more depth, so there is no ability to boat in that area. It’s not attractive for swimming and obviously then it’s not attractive for fish either. You start reducing the functional size of the surface water in the lake.”
In the case of Duck Creek’s 62 acres, he said, a lot of sediment in just 40 years could reduce its surface water to 40 acres.
Hilske said directors will assess progress in February, but the plan is to open the lake in April and have full activities over the summer.