Iowa DNR

Water Quality Assessments

Impaired Waters List

ADBNet Documentation

Significant Publicly-Owned Lakes

Significant publicly-owned lakes were defined as those lakes which are principally maintained for public use containing a minimum surface area of 10 acres and capable of supporting fish stocks of at least 200 pounds per acre.

Species diversity in water bodies containing less than 10 acres is habitually low resulting in a fish density with minimal potential for maximum sustained yields via sport or food fish fisheries. Shallow lakes, which are most characteristic of wetlands and marsh-like habitat that are subject to chronic and extensive fish winterkills, were excluded from the survey. Establishment of productive fish populations is hopeless where massive mortality results from the lowering of life supporting oxygen concentrations under ice cover each winter. Federal-owned on-stream impoundment constructed for floodwater supplies were excluded because of Clean Water Act regulations. Multi-purpose lakes providing domestic water supply as only one of several major management objectives were included in the study. Impoundments containing a watershed to surface area ratio greater than 200:1 acres were omitted from the list since they are mainly on-stream impoundments formed by low-head dams and emulate riverine habitat rather than lake environment.

Approximately 175 lakes and reservoirs were considered by the Iowa Conservation Commission (ICC) staff for inclusion into the list of lakes to be surveyed and classified. Many of these 175 lakes are contained in “Iowa Fishing Guide”, a publication of the ICC. Time and money precluded survey and classification of all the lakes; therefore, the list was reduced to include only significant lakes in public ownership.

This page was created 8/11/2023 2:07:42 PM and was last updated 9/6/2023 2:21:54 PM