Low water levels at Big Creek Lake have turned out to be a blessing for boat ramp construction projects, but a curse for boaters trying to access some parts of the lake.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the lake is more than six feet low and water levels continue to drop at a rate of about six inches per week.
The low water is helping the construction crews who are installing new boat ramps because the ramps can be poured in place, instead of having to pour them in another location and move them into position. Currently only one lane at the east boat ramp is usable because of construction.
“In a manner of weeks, we likely won’t have any usable boat ramps because the water level will be far enough below the end of the ramp, that they will be backing on to the lake bed and get stuck, said Chad Kelchen, manager of Big Creek State Park.
Access to some parts of the lake has been closed because the low water has exposed a water main that provides water to the state park and some nearby residents. The channel leading to Lost Lake and the Big Creek spillway has been closed to boat traffic to protect the water main.