- Associated Press - Monday, September 22, 2014

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - Three lakes along the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway in the southern Black Hills will be drained so crews can remove excess sediment.

The U.S. Forest Service is draining Horsethief Lake, Bismarck Lake and Lakota Lake, the Rapid City Journal reported (https://bit.ly/1posfSf ). They will be refilled after the sediment is scooped out.

Removing the excess sediment will restore the depth of the lakes and better the water quality, which will improve fishing, project coordinator Dave Pickford said. The sediment will be used as topsoil in areas of the Black Hills National Forest that previously were gravel and mining pits.

“The sediments and dredged up material is typically very rich in nutrients. So the project will be good for the land and the lakes,” Forest Service spokesman Scott Jacobson said.

The state Game, Fish and Parks Department is working to save as many of the fish in the lakes as possible, though some will die when the water is drained. There will be no ice fishing on the lakes this winter.

The draining, scooping and refilling should improve the ecosystem, fish habitat and health of each lake, said John Carreiro, a state fisheries biologist. Officials hope to have the lakes reopened by May.


Information from: Rapid City Journal, https://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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