May 9, 2013
The contractor has been busy cleaning up parts of Levi Carter Park and taking down construction fence in some areas.¬† Extra bulldozers and track hoes have been brought in to start working over the large sediment basin from the dredge.¬†The pace of progress is being slowed by the wet weather and lack of sunny days.¬†
Remind friends and neighbors to stay off the freshly seeded areas in the park.¬†
On Monday May 6th a truck was pulled out of the new storm water basin in the closed section of the park after the driver drove around the barricades and thought he would create a shortcut.¬† Officers from Omaha responded and placed him into custody.
A fish survey was completed by Nebraska Game and Parks two weeks ago and a large number of carp were found to be in the lake.¬† If you catch a carp please do not return it to the lake.¬† Carp will destroy all of the work which has been done.
Vegetation has yet to make a big comeback in the main lake but is being monitored.¬† Some spraying will take place this summer if needed.¬† Vegetation boats will also be running as needed.
April 14, 2012
Hundreds of pelicans make a quick stopover on Carter Lake.¬†
April 13, 2012
Thank you to all of the 150+¬†volunteers who registered and helped with the¬†Carter Lake Clean-Up Day.¬† Residents of Carter lake, Omaha and the Creighton Campus picked up a large dumpster full of material and plenty of tires.¬†¬† This annual event is making a difference and creating the best lake in the metro!¬†¬†¬† Thank you for the hard work and wet shoes.¬† ¬†
April 12, 2013
Two inches of rain this week brought the lake up 3.5 inches!¬† More rain will help get the lake back to some more normal levels.¬† The water elevation is still off the gauge on the north side of the lake.¬† The contractor has been stirring the dredge spoil pile at the entrance of Levi Carter Park, once it is dry enough it will be spread out and seeded.¬† Additional equipment and crews will be moved in to deal with the larger dredge spoil site.¬†Plans are to have all work complete by May 31st if the weather cooperates.¬†¬† Fishing is really starting to pick up with anglers reporting 18 inch bass.
Water clarity is down this spring.¬† Last week it only measured 20 inches.¬†
Come one, come all to the Lake Cleanup on Saturday.¬† 9am Mabrey Park.¬†
March 15, 2013
Finally a little bit of moisture to help fill the lake.¬† In the last week the lake has risen 2 tenths of a foot.¬† The new storm water pond on the north side is flowing water to the lake as well as the pump.¬† We need to continue to get rainfall and for the river to rise to really help out the water level in the lake.
The contractor has begun stiring up the dredge pits so they dry out and can be leveled.¬† This process will be ongoing for the next couple of months.¬†
Now is a¬†great time to get more debris and junk from the lake.¬† With the low water levels more things are visible.¬† Remember the lake cleanup is not far away.¬†
February 20, 2012
The lake is still dropping due to the river and the extreme drought conditions in Iowa and Nebraska.¬† The lake is below 968.0 elevation which is the lowest mark on the gauge.¬† Other lakes in the area are experiencing similar conditions.
Pumping should begin sometime in March and hopefully we can make some progress if the Missouri river comes back up.¬†
Contractors will begin moving equipment into Levi Carter Park in the next couple of weeks to start doing final grading of the dredge spoil piles.¬† Final seeding and all other work is expected to be complete before May 31st.
Spring weather will bring the chance for algae to grow once again in the lake.¬† Permits for spraying are being prepared and contractors will be available.¬† Iowa and Nebraska are working together to be well prepared for the coming season.¬† In addtion to spraying the city was given the weed harvester and new harvester was also ordered which has a much greater capacity.¬† Both Machines will be working sometime during the 2013 season.
Rain gardens are an important¬†best management practice¬†which can be installed in your¬†yard. We will be having a class on rain gardens Saturday April 27th.¬† Keep the date open and lets build some great gardens and help the lake.
The Carter Lake Preservation Society will be holding the Annual Lake Cleanup on Saturday, April 13th from 9-12noon.¬† Come out and help get the lake¬†in shape.¬† It looks better and better every year!
Warning!!! With the water in the lake low walking the shoreline in some areas can be dangerous.¬† Large quantities of broken glass are everywhere.¬† Please help pick up all broken glass you can find..
December 19, 2012
Major construction work has ended for the year.¬† The lake is begining to freeze in some locations.¬†¬†¬†
December 7, 2012
Construction crews have cleaned up most of the construction parts and pieces in the park.¬†Both dredge containment areas are still draining.¬† Water¬†clarity is excellent.¬†
November 29, 2012
The dredge has been removed from the lake.¬† Crane operators gently lifted the dredge and associated barges out of the lake and set them on trucks.
Water tempertaures in the lake are in the upper 30's.¬† If you are on the water or working around it wear a life vest.
November 16, 2012
Dredging is about complete!¬† The main basin is full and second basin is filling slowly to have a chance to dewater.¬† The dredge operations are expected to be complete by early next week.¬† The warm weather has allowed the seeding in Levi Carter Park to get established.¬† People using the park should avoid driving on any of the newly seeded areas.
November 2, 2012
Fall is a great time around Carter Lake with lots of unique visitors.¬†The bird life is amazing.
The dredge began filling the small basin this week and will be working for just a short time.
Water level this morning was 969.0.¬† Boaters may want to start removing boats¬†in the next week or two.¬†¬†
October 26, 2012
In the next couple of days the dredge will begin pumping water into the small basin at the entrance to Levi Carter Park.¬† Once this basin is full the dredge work will be complete.¬† The estimate is about seven days.¬† Water Clarity in the lake is improving again is close to one meter.¬† The water temp is about 54 degrees.¬†¬†¬†The water level in the lake has held steady 969.1 for about two weeks.
¬†October 16, 2012
The dredge will be started again late this week or early next week.¬† The engineers and contractors determined they have about two weeks of dredging left to fulfill the contract of 80,000 cubic yards.¬† The large basin will recieve one weeks worth of spoils and the small basin will take the rest.
Lake levels continue to drop slowly.¬† The level on Tuesday was 969.1.
¬†October 4, 2012
Dredging on the lake has stopped for a few days to let water drain from the spoil site in Levi Carter Park.¬† Contractors believe we are approaching the desired amount of sediment removal form the lake.¬† Once the spoil area drains out careful measurments will be taken.¬†
The lake has been dropping in the last two weeks since the pump has been turned off.¬† Homeowners should keep a close eye on water levels to make sure they have time to remove any boats or docks they want out before freeze up.¬† Water level on 10/4/2012 was 969.2.¬†
The water clarity has been good this week at about .70m.¬†
September 21, 2012
Dredge work continues on the east side of the lake.¬† The contractor is seeding all of the bare areas in the park.¬†¬† Please do not drive on any of the newly seeded areas.¬† The lake¬†pump is currently off so all residents should begin watching water levels closely to make sure they can get their ¬†boats out before it drops to low.¬† Water levels dropped about 11/2 inches this week with the pump off.¬†
September 14, 2012
Dredge work continues on the east side of the lake.¬†The spoil site is filling well and the drianage system continues to discharge clean water back to the lake.¬† The rain this week was a good test for the new stormwater pond in Levi Carter Park.¬†
August 30, 2012
Additional pipe was added to the dredge this week.¬† The dredge will continue to move down the east arm of the lake untill the cubic yards removed equal about 88,000.¬† The spoil site is working well in Levi Carter Park.¬†
Water clarity in the lake is down to 23 centimeters this week which is the lowest we have¬†seen this summer.¬†¬†
Lots of waterfowl have been spotted on the lake.¬†
August 17, 2012
The dredge has been advancing down the east arm of the lake and is making good progress.¬†
Water levels in the lake have remained steady for the last couple of weeks.¬† Currently the water level is 969.4.¬†¬†The lake is about 1 foot low from what is considered normal.¬† The pumping system has been keeping the level steady which is much better than many other lakes in the area.
July 27, 2012
This week represented a milestone in the rehabilitation of lake.¬† Early in the week the contractor began pulling his equipment from the site due to the fact the shoreline work is complete!¬†¬† The final touches were also put on the new stormwater pond located in the park.¬†
Dredge work continues in the lake and will for the coming months.¬† The dredger seems pleased with the progress so far and the drainage sytem seems to be working well.¬† Photos below show the black sludge being pumped through the pipe and the last photo shows clean water returning to the lake.
Top photo; Material from dredge. Bottom photo: Clean discharge going back to lake.
July 19, 2012
Boaters and skiers are reminded to stay out of the no wake zone during the dredge operation.¬† The contractor has reported boats coming to close to the dredge and the lines in the water.¬†¬†If boaters want to keep the lake open¬†please respect the no wake signs and stay away from the dredge.¬† Part of Levi Carter park will be closed in the coming days.¬†¬†No one will be allowed near the dredge spoil site.¬† Roads through the park will be closed to traffic.¬† ¬†
July 5, 2012
The dredge is now operating in the lake!¬†¬† Boaters are reminded to obey all buoy markers and stay well clear of the operation.¬† Do not create wakes in the area of the dredge as this may damage equipment and be dangerous.
The dredge discharge area is surrounded by earth and will be filling with water and sediment.¬† Do not enter this area and do not let children or pets play around this site.¬†
June 29, 2012
Construction has moved to the southest corner of the lake to begin work on the shoreline improvements.¬† Pipe for the dredge was installed this week in the park.¬† According to the contractor the dredge will arrive on July 3rd.¬† The Iowa DNR stocked additional bass in the lake this week.
June 22, 2012
Most of the work this week has been preparation for the arrival of the dredge.¬† Sampson the tile machine was brought in to install long sections of pipe and to put tile in the dredge basins.¬†
Drainage inlets being installed in the main basin.¬† Basin is designed to hold 88,000 cubic yards of dredge material.
June 15, 2012
Officials from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality have decided to chemically treat 100 acres of Carter Lake to help manage excess rooted aquatic vegetation in the coming weeks.¬† Improved water clarity in the lake and the mild winter/spring weather is causing an increase in the amount of vegetation growing in the water.¬† ‚ÄúThe main goal of the lake restoration project was to improve water quality, which we have!‚ÄĚ said Chris Larson, Iowa DNR SW Fisheries Supervisor, ‚Äúthe practices employed thus far have flipped the lake from a green water algae dominated system to a rooted aquatic plant dominated system which is good for water quality‚ÄĚ. ‚ÄúIt may take a few years for the lake to come into balance with the right amount of algae and rooted aquatic plants‚ÄĚ said Larson.¬† Recent measurements are showing the water clarity at over six feet .
Treatment plans call for 100 acres to be treated with an approved aquatic herbicide .¬†¬† The treatments are planned in some of the larger open water areas to help facilitate boating .¬† ¬†The treatments will be completed in stages and monitored to ensure the health of the lake. ‚ÄúIf the whole 100 acres was treated at once there is the potential for a large oxygen decrease leading to a fish kill‚ÄĚ said Larson, ‚Äúnon-harmful bacteria helps breakdown the dying plant material using up oxygen as it does‚ÄĚ. The larger treatment areas will be linked with 60ft wide boating lanes through the remaining vegetation.¬†
Dredging on the lake is slated to begin in late June or early July and boaters are reminded to stay well clear of all dredge operations and observe buoys and boating regulations.¬† Dredging will remove approximately 88 thousand cubic yards of silt from the bottom of the lake.¬† Shore line improvements along the north shore are nearing completion.¬†
Restoration projects on the lake began in 2010 with an alum treatment and fish renovation.¬† Total cost of the project when completed will be approximately six million dollars. Updates and information can be found at carterlakewaterquality.com.
June 15, 2012
Most of the work this week on the project focused on the dredge spoil area.¬† Final details were also added to the off-shore breakwaters to make them more fisherman friendly.¬†
Structure Number IX
Dredge pipe being assembled.
Dozers pushing up berms in the area of the polo field.¬† Storage for 88,000 cubic yards of dredge material.
June 12, 2012
The contractor has completed most of the off shore breakwaters on the lake plan.¬† During the next couple of weeks the dredge will begin operation in the lake with the spoils going to the polo field area.¬† Dozers are scraping off the top soil and prepping the area for¬†drianage pipe.¬† Pipe is currently being built and laid out for installation.
May 16, 2012
The lake pump has been turned on!!¬† The pump started at the well at 10:30 am.¬† The current water level in the lake is¬†968.7 and the pump will run except during¬†anticipated rain events since it is being manually controlled for another month.¬†
Work is progressing on the north shore.¬† The contractor is trying to finish the off-shore breakwaters as quickly as possible.¬†¬†
May 9, 2012 Lake shoreline work continues
The contractor is continueing to make progress on the off shore breakwater structures.¬† Work has also begun to enlarge the first dredge spoil site near the entrance to Levi Carter Park.¬†¬† Dredge work will begin during the second week of June.¬†
The pump will be tested by the City of Omaha either late this week or early next week.¬†
A couple of cases of swimmers itch have been been reported.¬† Swimmers itch is caused by a parasite¬†passed through¬†waterfowl.¬† Please see the link below for more information.
A big thank you to all of the volunteers who gave their time and effort to the 2012 lake clean up!¬† It is great to see so many people who care for the lake and the watershed.¬† State Representative Mark Brandenburg stopped by for visit.
Spring/Summer 2012 Project Plans
2012 will be a busy year around Carter Lake. Construction on most of the inlake structures and dredging will take place.¬† As of the end of March the contractor is on schedule and work is progressing.¬† The link to the summer construction plans is located further down the page along with the schedule.
During the summer of 2011 Carter Lake had a great deal of vegetation.¬† A plan has been developed in cooperation with the Iowa DNR and Nebraska Game and Parks to hopefully reduce the amount of vegetation in the lake if needed for 2012.¬† Iowa has granted a permit to the city to allow some limited spraying by a licensed¬†contractor.¬† Sparying around docks will be allowed if done by the licensed contractor.¬† Detatils of all of this are being worked out and more information will follow.¬† Homewoners are encouraged to continue raking the areas by their docks to stunt the growth of any vegetation which occurs between now and when the contractor can be secured.¬† Homeowners and associations on the lake¬†will be responsible for the¬†costs of spraying.¬† The city is also bringing ¬†back the vegetation harvestor during the first week of¬†April to get an early start on any growing vegetation.
Cleaning up the lake¬†takes time¬†and is a complicated process.¬†¬†
Fishing in 2012
People have been reporting on good fishing already this spring.¬† Largemouth bass and bluegill have been the main fish people have been catching with a few channel cats as well.¬† Remember all bass must be 21 inches to be kept¬†
3/29/2012 Construction Update
Structure number 3 along the golf course is complete!¬† This structure will aid in reducing the amount of sediment reaching the lake and by filtering nutrients from stormwater.
Structure number 3 alond Shore line golf couse.
3/16/2012 Lake Construction Update
Contractor is placing rock for an offshore breakwater and wetland in the Southwest corner of the lake.¬† Stormwater pond in the center part of Levi Carter Park is also under construction.¬† Soil has been placed for the future frisbee golf course.¬† Fishing is starting to pick up.
¬†2/27/2012¬† Carter Lake Construction Map
Please click on the link below to view the map.
2/24/2012 Lake Project Updates
Carter Lake eagles and flags
West side of the new storm water basin.
The contractor began this week by installing some of the construction entrances for the project.¬† Work has also started on the¬†addition to the storm water basin.¬† The pipes have been installed and the basin shape has been roughed out.
2/17/2012¬† Lake Project Updates
The lake recharge system is progressing on schedule.¬† Pipe from the well to the exsisting system is being completed.¬†
Trees which were cleared in the park have been chipped into mulch.¬† Pipes for the stormwater basin have been installed and the contractor will begin shaping the basin soon.¬† During the week of 2/20/2012 rock will begin to be delivered for the in lake structures weather permitting.¬†¬†¬†
Tree Clearing Complete and Basins Taking Shape 2/2/2012
Tree clearing for the lake¬†project is complete¬†with the debris being recycled into mulch.¬† Work has started on the first of two basins for the dredge spoils.¬† Contractor is building the first basin in the NE corner of park.
Pump Project on Track- Update 2/2/2012
The contractor has installed the pump house and is installing the supply pipe.¬† The project is slated to be complete near March 1, 2012.¬†
Tree clearing has started in Levi Carter Park 1/24/12
Clearing trees near the polo field for the dredge spoil site.
Tree clearing on the north shore for an off shore breakwater.
Highlights from the Public Information Meeting Jan. 19th
Thank you to the 47 people who signed in at the public information meeting held at MAPA on Thursday January 19th.¬† Sara Mechtenberg from the engineering firm Tetra Tech shared the construction map and timeline with the audience and spent time detailing the types of structures which will be installed.¬† Maps are available at Carter Lake city hall and will also be posted at the Carter Lake library. ¬†Dredging and all construction should be accomplished by the end of September .¬† Western Contracting Corporation was awarded the bid from the City of Omaha.¬†
Vegetation management in the lake was presented by Chris Larson from the Iowa DNR.¬† The goal is to use a tool box approach in dealing with vegetation in the lake if necessary.¬† Some of those methods may include mechanical, biological and chemical.¬† More information will be available as we get closer to the spring season and plans are worked out.¬† Removal of all vegetation in the lake is not an option nor is it desirable.¬†¬†We will be holding a vegetation workshop in March or April.¬†
The contractor will begin mobilizing and starting work on Monday, January 23rd.¬†
Public Information Meeting January 19th
The public is invited to an informational meeting on the construction plans for Carter Lake in 2012.¬†A short presentation will outline the goals and timeline for the 2012 season.¬† Agency representatives from Iowa and Nebraska will be available to take written comments.¬† ¬†¬†The meeting will be held at MAPA located in Omaha at 2222 Cuming Street on January 19th at 7 P.M.
The Community Based Water Quality Management Plan for Carter Lake was instigated in response to a desire from watershed stakeholders to protect the water quality of Carter Lake for the support of aesthetic benefits, recreational use, aquatic and littoral wildlife and economic benefits.¬† ¬†Carter lake is on Nebraska‚Äôs Section 303(d) list of impaired waters for phosphorus, nitrogen, algae and pH.. ¬†¬†Iowa has determined Carter Lake is impaired for excess algae and turbidity.¬† The primary water quality issue is high nutrient levels.
Check out the complete history of the watershed plan at the link below
Well Update 12/21/2011
Contractors are working on the water supply well for the lake.¬† The¬†well house and piping¬†on the wet side of the levy are¬†being worked on.¬†The electrical poles are complete.
Carter Lake featured in EPA success story
Restoration efforts of Carter Lake were featured in a story on the EPA website.¬† Thank you to all the great community volunteers who helped make this possible!¬† The communities of Carter Lake and Omaha should be proud of the success so far.
Channel Catfish¬†Fish stocking on September 15, 2011
2200 8-11 inch Channel catfish stocked at Mabrey Park
Carter Lake is open for all types of boating starting on September 13th.¬†
Update on vegetation harvester
The Harvester has been on the lake a few days.¬† Most of the time has been spent working around the pumps on the north shore trying to keep them free of the floating vegetation.¬† The vegetation has been packing the fence around the pump and forcing material under the fence and then clogging the pumps so they do not run.¬† Keeping those pumps working is the first priority so we do not damage homes or infrastructure in the community.¬† The lake level during this flood event has remained within about 7-8 inches.¬† If you travel over to Council Bluffs check on Lake Manawa they have not been so lucky.
During last months council meeting information was shared on the amount of water pumped out of the lake so far.¬† If those pumps had not been running the lake level would be significantly higher.¬†The pumps we have take out 10,000 gallons per minute.¬† The water coming into the lake is groundwater filtered through the sand, part of the¬†clarity issue.¬† Since the pumps have been running we have pumped out the entire volume of lake!¬†
Vegetation in the¬†lake is making a strong comeback.¬† The Tech advisory team¬†met on¬†July 13th to discuss construction issues and the best way to control the vegetation.¬† Staff from both Iowa and Nebraska have looked at the lake and are formulating an action plan.¬† Please remember improving the lake is not an easy process and the final outcome is a great lake for everyone.¬†¬†It is illegal for anyone to add fish to the lake.¬† Only the State of Iowa and Nebraska can stock Carter Lake.¬† Cutting and raking weaken plants and is still the¬†best way to reduce the vegetation near your docks.¬† Please try to remove as much from the lake as possible.¬† The flood control pumps on the lake are vital to homes and businesses in the community,¬† keeping them free of floating¬†vegetation is critical.¬†
¬†2011 Carter Lake work plan has been put on hold due to high water.¬† Well construction, shoreline renovation¬†and dredging will happen, just not when the river is high.¬†
Carter¬†Lake recieved an additional 21,000 Largemouth Bass on June 29th, 2011 from the Iowa DNR.¬† 2013 will be a¬†great fishing year!¬†
Water Clarity May 19, 2011
The water in the lake is clear all the way to the bottom!¬† Now is a¬†great time to visit the lake and see what the bottom looks like.¬† ¬† ¬†¬†
2011 Work Plan for Carter Lake (Put on hold until 2012)
The shores of Carter lake will be a busy place this summer during the construction season.¬† Planning is underway to provide shorline armoring and offshore breakwaters to many parts of the lake.¬† Work will also be completed on the stormwater pond in Levi Carter Park.¬† Carter Lake will not be drained during the work.¬† Boaters may need to be more aware during the summer to buoys and markers placed in the water to protect workers and equipment.¬† Work will begin in the spring and should be complete early in the fall.¬† Weather and water levels may add delays to the project.¬†
Dredging some areas of the lake may begin in 2011.¬† Details on the total 2011 work plan will be released in late spring during a public meeting.¬†
The fish renovation is complete! ¬†New fish will be stocked during the first part of October.¬† Largemouth bass, channel catfish and bluegill will be stocked first.¬†
No Wake Buoys Installed
Please be sure to remind your friends and neighbors to follow safe boating practices while on the lake.¬† The no wake buoys are in on the east arm of the lake, the entire east arm is a no wake zone.¬† Speeds must be below no wake speed.
Alum Treatment Completed
All lake activity can resume on May 25th.¬† Thank you to everyone who helped make it a success.
Public Meeting January 12, 2010
Click here to view slides from the meeting
Public comments from the meeting
What is the impact of geese on the phosphorus load?¬†
Geese can have a big impact on water quality.¬† The extent of the impact is obviously based on the numbers of geese present at any particular time of year.¬† On average, a Canada goose can produce about 0.86 pounds of phosphorus per year.¬† If we have 100 resident geese that would generate around 86 pounds of phosphorus per year.¬† If all 86 pounds of phosphorus reached the lake, it would constitute approximately 2.7 percent of the total phosphorus load to the lake.¬† Controlling waterfowl is a difficult task, particularly given their migratory nature.¬† Feeding geese should be discouraged as this adds to the problem.¬†
Was goose hunting a considered option?¬†
Given the urban nature of Carter Lake, hunting was not considered as an option.¬†
How long will it be before you know if plan A needs improvement and you have to move to plan B?
An extensive amount of water quality monitoring has been conducted to document current conditions.¬† This monitoring will continue through the course of the project to track changes in water quality and evaluate our plan.¬† Lake management is an ongoing process with no end.¬† It is the goal of the Technical Advisory Team (TAT) to develop a long term management plan for Carter Lake and not just provide some quick fixes and walk away.¬† In doing so, the TAT will continually evaluate what has been done, what has worked and what has not worked along with social and economic costs.¬† Big improvements in water quality are expected once the first alum treatment and fish renovation take place but it will take several years to determine the longevity of these management actions.¬† The public will continue to be involved in the decisions regarding the management of Carter Lake.
Will the drain tubes in the cannels be removed so no road runoff will go in the lake?
The water that Carter Lake receives through these storm drains contributes toward the maintenance of appropriate water levels for the lake.¬† Instead of removing these drain tubes our plan is to improve the quality of water coming off the land.¬† Reducing commercial fertilizers and pet waste are two activities that will help improve the quality of runoff water entering Carter Lake.
I am very concerned about the no wake zones and the fish kill. Please do not stop skiing and boating for all types of boats.¬† Boating season is from April-October.
In scheduling different treatments (e.g. fish renovation), the Technical Advisory Team will try to minimize impacts to any recreational activities that take place at the lake.¬† Unfortunately certain treatments are most effective when done during certain times of the year.¬†
We do not want to put no wake on this lake- Have Omaha open up some of their lakes to help in boating activities and lesson the traffic on this lake.
The Technical Advisory Team has received numerous comments on the no-wake areas, both positive and negative.¬† The benefits of these no-wake areas will be evaluated along with all the other activities that are completed. ¬† Our other lakes in the area are Corps of Engineers flood control structures. It is a Corps requirement that there be no-wake on these lakes. ¬†
I think the no wake zone is too large can it be reduced?
At this time there are no plans to reduce the size of the no-wake areas.¬† The benefits of these areas will be evaluated along with all the other activities that are completed.¬†¬†¬†
Once the quality and clarity is achieved will the NO WAKE area be reduced?
At this time there are no plans to reduce the size of the no-wake areas.¬† The benefits of these areas will be evaluated along with all the other activities that are completed.¬† If desired quality and clarity is achieved, and if the no-wake areas are critical to maintaining good quality and clarity, the size will not be reduced.¬†
Once the alum floc is in place will there be an indvcement (spelling?)¬† to anaerobic activity in the lowest levels of the lake to force phosphorus hydrolysis into re-suspending phosphorus .¬† In essence continued phosphorus release?
It is most likely that the alum treatment will result in less anaerobic activity at the bottom of the lake.¬† Less algae in the water column results in less organic matter being deposited on the bottom; resulting in less bacterial activity and consumption of oxygen.¬† In any event, the alum floc binds tightly to phosphorus in both the presence and absence of oxygen.¬† This makes alum a highly effective means of decreasing phosphorus release, even when low or no oxygen conditions exist.
Creighton rowing is in competitive season March 1-May 4 and we cannot be off the water for 3 weeks.¬† April 12 is a good date we could be off for a few days.¬†
In scheduling different treatments (e.g. Alum treatment, fish renovation), the Technical Advisory Team will try to minimize impacts to any recreational/competitive activities that take place at the lake.¬† Unfortunately certain treatments are most effective when done during certain times of the year.¬†
Why will the Alum be applied first instead of after dredging?
It is important to conduct the first alum treatment soon to allow adequate time to monitor the performance of the treatment, measure the amount of phosphorus ‚Äútied up‚ÄĚ in the lake sediments, and accurately design the second treatment (which will be based on the performance of the first treatment).¬† Only a small percentage of the lake will be dredged.¬† Any floc removal/disturbance that may occur during dredging can be compensated for in the second alum treatment, if necessary.¬† The advantages of conducting the first alum treatment first outweigh any potential minor impacts of dredging.
Is the power point available on line?
Yes, it is one the City of Carter Lake website and the Carter Lake Restoration website. carterlakewaterquality.com
What reason for not dredging first?
As mentioned in the presentation, it was determined that dredging is the least cost-effective alternative investigated.¬† In order to prevent resuspension from boat wakes and achieve pollutant load reductions, the lake would need to reach depths of at least 10 ft, possibly greater (dependent upon motor size).¬† Currently the lake has an average depth of 7.6 ft (when at the desired elevation of 970.3 ft above mean sea level), and the sheer volume of material that would need to be dredged to reach the necessary depths makes this a very expensive alternative; so great that the cost of this one alternative would likely be greater than the total cost developed for all the alternatives in this plan ($6 million).¬† The calculated load reductions associated with this alternative did not warrant the high cost.¬†
The design of the wetland on northwest corner of the lake by the brick peninsula is close to the rowing start line. Can we talk about the design of that structure?
During final design, the consultant can work with the row team to ensure the structure does not cause interference.¬†
What about low water Levels?¬† Your presentation does not address the real lake problem at all.
The focus of the January 12th talk was about Carter Lake water quality.¬† A separate project has been completed that designed a well and conveyance system to pump water into the Carter Lake when levels need to be raised. ¬†The well has been bid and the City of Omaha is currently working on the Notice to Proceed.¬†
When figuring the no wake totals were the canals included?
No they were not.¬† The canals are currently no-wake areas and to improve upon existing conditions, the 100 acres had to target current boating area.¬†¬†
I am very concerned about the no wake zones and the fish kill. Please do not stop skiing and boating for all types of boats.¬† Boating season is from April-October.
¬†TAT response; the 100 acre no wake zone is necessary to meet water quality goals. There will still be 200 acres available to power boating with no restriction on boat size. The common carp and bullheads that currently inhabit Carter Lake stir lake bottom sediments and associated phosphorus with their feeding behavior. This has a negative impact on water quality. There are currently no treatments that would eliminate just carp, so a total fish renovation is necessary.¬†
When can promiscuous fishing start?
TAT response; the Iowa DNR and NE Game & Parks are currently working on an agreement to allow liberalized fishing at Carter Lake in the near future.
Can the ice fisherman start now? TAT response; see response above. Currently all fishing regulations are in effect.
Why is a fish kill so important and how would it effect the plan if you do not do a fish kill?
TAT response; The common carp and black bullheads that currently inhabit Carter Lake stir lake bottom sediments and associated phosphorus with their feeding behavior. This has a negative impact on water quality. There are currently no treatments that would eliminate just carp or bullheads, so a total fish renovation is necessary. If the carp and bullheads are not eliminated from the lake water quality goals will not be met.
Can the water quality be met without a fish kill?
TAT response; no - see response above.
Will the eagles or the cranes be harmed by the fish kill? TAT response; no. The chemical used to kill the fish only affects gill breathing organisms.
Boating Response (Group)
I really think more boat regulation is needed.
I look forward to the increase in policing.
I am very concerned about the no wake zones and the fish kill. Please do not stop skiing and boating for all types of boats.¬† Boating season is from April-October.
I see this lake as the opportunity to promote water activities and bring a lot of funds to the community.¬† Boat races, ski tournaments etc.¬† Please do no not limit the size of boats on the lake
What reason for not dregging first and how will we ever enforce the wake issue and boat size.
By a no wake zone like you have proposed you are opening up more chances for boating accidents.
Who will police the no wake zone?
TAT Response- Boating has many forms on Carter Lake.¬† The traditional view brings forth images of powerboats and jet ski‚Äôs zooming across crystal blue water next to white sand beaches.¬† But in reality ‚Äúboating‚ÄĚ also includes activities for canoes, sailboats, pontoons, kayaks, rowing, skullers and a wide range of fishing craft from high powered jet boats to bass buggies and float tubers!¬†¬† All these ‚Äúwatercraft‚ÄĚ and their users will benefit from the improvement in water quality through the restoration project.¬† Not only will the boating community benefit, but everybody who lives around or visits the lake.¬† A 2007 survey counted the people at Carter Lake from April through September and found that 88% of visitors were enjoying the area (beach combing, fishing, hiking, picnicking etc.) and were not in any type of ‚Äúwatercraft‚ÄĚ.¬† Less than 3% were engaged in ‚Äúwake boating‚ÄĚ.¬†
Wake boating is when a watercraft moves at a speed in which a wave produces a "white cap" by rolling water outward onto itself.¬† It is at that speed (between 8 and 10 mph) that most boats can stir the lake bottom in 10 feet of water, regardless of the size of the boat or horsepower of the motor.¬† Regulations designed to prevent boat generated waves or propeller displacement of sediments are often called a 5 mph speed limit or are "no-wake" zone.¬† There will be no boat or motor size limits on Carter Lake, but on a small portion all watercraft will be prohibited from exceeding 5 mph in the no-wake zone.¬†
The benefit of a no-wake zone in Carter Lake is to prevent sediments that are very nutrient rich from being stirred up and rekindling the water quality problems seen over the last decade (see related responses on this page for more information).¬† By reducing the stirring of lake bottom with a ‚Äúno-wake‚ÄĚ zone, we are directly preventing nutrients from being released from the sediments in that area. This reduction in nutrient input within the no-wake zone is a key component towards meeting the water quality goals for Carter Lake.¬†¬† Without the nutrient suppression benefits of a no-wake zone, the water quality goals could not be meet and therefore the cities of Carter Lake and Omaha would not be eligible for the essential funding that will be needed to undertake this restoration project.
After the lake and watershed have been "treated" (alum application, no-wake zone, fish renovation, shoreline stabilization, creation of wetland areas etc.) it will critical to keep these features functioning properly to maintain the improved water quality for as long as possible.¬† Proper upkeep and abidance of these management actions will protect the water quality in Carter Lake for years to come.¬†¬†¬†
Enforcement of the no-wake zone regulation will be just like any other aspect of the restoration project involving change (no phosphorus fertilizer, pet waste pickup, new fishing regulations), it will take a commitment by the entire community to be involved in the active management, enforcement and preservation of Carter lake and its watershed.¬† Education on the benefits of beneficial water quality practices is the first step in getting the community committed to the change.¬† Similar to the carrot & stick analogy, education is the carrot and enforcement is the stick.¬† The proper application of carrots usually results in not having to resort to the stick.¬† This is the desired outcome from the perspective of both the community and the agencies providing law enforcement support.¬†¬†
As a boundary water, Carter Lake has jurisdictional overlap into both the states of Iowa and Nebraska, the counties of Douglas and Pottawattamie, and the cities of Carter Lake and Omaha.¬† So there are plenty of entities that have authority to provide enforcement on Carter Lake.¬† Violations of fish and game, boating, littering and public safety rules and statutes can be enforced by all officers including City police and sheriff departments, state patrols, federal authorities (Coast Guard, Fish & Wildlife Service) and the conservation officers for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and Iowa Department of Natural Resources.¬† But the most important authority will be you, members of the community and visitors to Carter Lake.¬† The use of cell phones is a huge component in the reporting of suspected violations and providing peer pressure on potential violators.¬† Your active presence combined with an informed and active community will be the most effective form of enforcement.¬†¬†
The mission statement for the CLEAR Watershed Council eloquently states the desire to have Carter Lake become the crown jewel of the metropolitan area.¬† Based on the community responses to past restoration projects, it is likely that visitation to Carter Lake will increase.¬† People like to recreate around clean water and in park like settings.¬† A proactive approach to addressing problems that may arise from the associated growth of interest in the new lake setting would be to assemble a group of community members from both cities to serve as public representatives to local governments and elected officials.
Currently, TetraTech is under contract with project sponsors to thoroughly evaluate each of the identified alternatives and complete a final plan detailing which alternatives will be implemented at Carter Lake, ¬†at which time the project can move into a design and permitting phase.
During these engineering planning phases of the project, information and education (I/E) activities will be occurring throughout the watershed.¬† Information on past and upcoming lake project events will be posted to the website soon!¬† Contact the Project Coordinator for information on how you can get involved with I/E activities.