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Water Levels Dropped At Indian Celina Recreation Area For Repair Work
Updated October 26, 2017 2:49 PM | Filed under: Natural Resources
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(TELL CITY) - Visitors to the Indian Celina Recreation Area on the Hoosier National Forest will notice a three to five foot drop in water levels at Indian Lake for the next few months.

Water levels have been lowered to do repair work on the dam. Water levels may remain low at Indian Lake through the winter to control non-native aquatic vegetation by allowing freezing temperatures to kill targeted squatic Eurasian water milfoil.

The valve on Indian Lake Dam was opened in the beginning of October to allow contractors access to place rip rap along the water's edge. The middle of the spillway of the lake did not previously have rip rap, and that can cause the dam area to erode. Contractors have also been working to repair a section around the inlet structure that is missing rip rap.

Since the lake level had to be lowered to accommodate these repairs and improvements, Forest leadership recognized an additional opportunity. In 2015, the Hoosier National Forest completed the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process to prepare for manipulation of lake water levels to control non-native aquatic vegetation, mainly Eurasian water milfoil. Euasian water milfoil is an aggressive non-native species that out-competes many native specifies. Large mats of milfoils can limit boat use and fishing access and degrade the natural balance of the fishery. Lowering lake levels to expose infested areas to sub-freezing temperatures is a cost-effective way to control these infestations. Sustained sub-freezing temperatures are needed to competely freeze and kill the roots crowns of Euasian water milfoil. It is likely that this process will need to be repeated two to three times in order to see a significant reduction in milfoil density. Lake drawdowns for this purpose are possible in future years.

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