After decades of work – the Lost Grove Lake project in Northeast Scott County is nearly finished. The crown jewel of the project: a 75 foot dam that measures more than 1,200 feet long. Today it’s getting its final grooming.
“It is essentially near completion at this point. They’re within hours or days of essentially having that project done,” says Chad Dolan of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
With an excavation company is putting the final touches on the dam it’ll take another two to three years for the lake to fill up.
Right now though the western most tip of the lake is complete. Fishermen like Tony and Jackie Reynolds are already taking advantage of Scott County’s newest fishing hole.
“There’s not much around. A few farm ponds but they’re few and far between,” says Tony Reynolds.
Soon Lost Grove Creek will flood hundreds of acres of prairie, creating one of the biggest lakes between here and Iowa City.
“East Central Iowa was devoid of a lake, a large recreational lake,” says Dolan.
The state began this project 25 years ago, and it’s been an on again, off again venture constantly fighting for funds, leaving area outdoors men wondering if this would be the big one that got away.
But now that the end is in sight, anticipation is growing with hopes that Lost Grove Lake will be worth the wait.
“It takes a long time to create something of this capacity and this size, so we’re very excited to be at the point we’re at and to be getting ready to move forward,” says Clare Kerofsky of the group Partners of Scott County Watersheds.
All told the Lost Grove Lake Project will cost $11.5 million dollars. The depending on water levels the Iowa DNR may begin stocking the lake with bluegills as early as this fall, with other game fish to follow next spring.
When its full the lake will cover more than 350 acres and sit among 1,700 acres of wildlife management property.