Fishing Regulations Relaxed In Virgin Lake Before Renovation
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is relaxing the fishing regulations at Virgin Lake, south of Ruthven in Palo Alto County, in order to allow anglers to harvest fish before the lake is drained as part of a renovation project.
DNR officials announced on Thursday that until further notice, anglers with a valid fishing license may take fish by any means except though the use of dynamite, poison, electro-shocking devices, or any stupefying substances from the lake. In addition, daily bag and minimum length restrictions have been suspended. The idea of the promiscuous fishing designation is to allow anglers to salvage and utilize imperiled fish populations in the lake before it is drained.
However, taking fish for commercial purposes is not allowed.
The DNR has started the process of drawing down water in the 220-acre lake according to a renovation plan developed through the DNR’s Shallow Lake Restoration Program. The drawdown replicates the actions of a natural drought period by stimulating plant growth, eliminating common carp and compacting bottom sediments.
After the waters are drawn down, the lake will be refilled and stocked with sport fish. The project will provide healthier fish and wildlife habitat, but the overall goal is clean water. The process will take a little over a year.
For more information on the Virgin Lake Restoration project, contact the DNR Fisheries office at the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery in Spirit Lake at 712-336-1840.