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Posted 5/3/2017

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Program Manager

Saylorville, Iowa

Big Creek Lake is a sub-impoundment to Saylorville Lake and is located in Big Creek State Park upstream of Saylorville reservoir, just north of Polk City, Iowa. A diversion dam which forms the 866-acre Big Creek Lake was primarily developed as a flood risk management project.

Management of fisheries occurs at both Saylorville and Big Creek and is influenced by numerous factors, including diverse stakeholder interests, socioeconomic conflicts, watershed land use, flood control, novel food web interactions, habitat alterations, and degraded water quality. One of the challenges to managing reservoir fisheries is fish escapement that may result in substantial loss of populations of fish over the spillway. Yet, little is known regarding escapement rates of reservoir fishes, factors influencing escapement, or management options for reducing escapement.

In collaboration with Iowa DNR, the USACE will provide assistance with determining: 1) movement patterns and habitat use of Walleye and Muskellunge, 2) Walleye and Muskellunge escapement rates and influential factors, and 3) the effects of different physical barrier configurations on escapement. The partners will provide recommendations for modifying the current Big Creek fish barrier.

The cost share agreement between the USACE and Iowa DNR was signed 26 January 2015. The initial stakeholder meeting took place on 9 July 2015 at the Saylorville Corps office. A population estimate for both walleye and muskellunge was completed at Big Creek Lake.

The project is currently in the third year of a five year study.

CA - Continuing Authorities - Section 22

Summarized Project Costs

Estimated Federal Cost  $499,000 
Estimated Non-Federal Cost  N/A 
Estimated Total Project Cost  $998,000 
Allocations Prior to Current FY 2017 Cost  $200,411 
Current FY 2017 Allocation (received to date)  $99,926 
Current FY 2017 Total Capability  $100,000 

Major Work Item Current Year
FY 2017:
Continued tagging fish with Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags and monitoring of fish movement throughout the year.