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Crystal Lake, IA – Jim Bushman appreciates a clean lake when he sees one.
He’s lived in Crystal Lake for more than 18 years, but recently he’s seen a change that makes him quite happy.
“Me and a buddy of mine just had great fishing, and last winter was a lot of ice fisherman just fishing the dickens out of it. I was scared they were catching all the good ones,” said Bushman.
Bushman say’s that wasn’t the case, just a few years ago.
“Before they dredged it out and everything about the most I ever caught out of here was bullheads and a lot of carp and stuff in there,” said Bushman.
It was the dredging and other similar improvement projects, that has Fishery Biologist Scott Grummer proud to confirm Crystal Lake is back on track.
“Deepened the center portion of the lake and in the fall of 2008 actually renovated the fishery and got rid of the high density common carp population that was in the lake. We then replaced those with aggressive stockings starting in 2009 with desirable game fish,” said Grummer.
Grummer says before the improvements, the lake was suffering from a bacteria problem.
And that made it dangerous for those who love to enjoy the water.
“With humans using that beach area with most cases the biggest issue is individuals who may be swimming or using the beach area with compromise immune system which tends to be the real young kids and older kids,” said Grummer.
But now that the lake is off the state’s impaired water list, people like Bushman can reap the benefits.
“Best thing about it is the fishing because you catch bass, walleye, and it’s just a fun thing,” said Bushman.