Letter to the editor in Fort Dodge Messenger

August 15, 2009


To the editor:

I urge everyone to firmly oppose the Iowa Department of Natural Resource's "Shallow Lake Management" plan for Iowa's precious glacial lakes.

For the IDNR to turn these unique and extremely rare natural wonders into unnatural marshes incapable of supporting their full natural ecology is to shirk its responsibility to protect all Iowans and the biological balance of our ecosystem in favor of a few hunters with this ill-advised plan, just because it is cheaper than properly restoring these lakes.

Year-round water sports are more important to our quality of life and economy than the short-season, short-sighted and self-serving desires of single-issue hunting lobbies.

We have no shortage of waterfowl in Iowa, regardless of the habitat changing from marsh grasses to corn, but we are losing our indigenous game fish, because of a loss of suitable habitat.

Because fish habitat is below water, we do not see and immediately realize how serious that loss is, but it threatens our health, wealth and entire ecosystem.

All of our prairie potholes must be dredged to restore their original depths and bottom substrates, reduce invasive, bottom-rooting, "rough fish" encroaching upon indigenous game fish habitat, and preserve the natural ecology of our region for the economic and recreational betterment of all citizens.

Restoring suitable wetlands is desirable, but any wetland not connected to a body of water deep enough to support the full compliment of indigenous fish species, year-round, is a foolish waste of precious taxpayer dollars, and is extremely dangerous to all warm-blooded life forms.

Only mosquitoes and disease can be the result of this foolishness.

There is no cheap and easy way to rectify the siltation damage done by 150 years of poor farming practices right up to the shores of these beautiful lakes. They must be dredged.

Prudent wetland restoration with settling ponds must be done, first, around these lakes, not in them.

We must stop thinking like troglodytes, only considering initial costs of land acquisition and dredging.

Treating fertile dredge spoil as a waste to be disposed of cheaply over already prime local farmland is a foolish and terrible waste of a valuable resource - the best topsoil on Earth.

Wind could actually power constant dredging, paid for by separating the spoil into its marketable components.

Only restoring the original bottom substrates will restore our clear-water glacial lakes to their pristine natural beauty, high water quality and awesome fisheries productivity. We must accept nothing less.

Larry M. Aden