AVA, Missouri – Mark Twain National Forest will leave Noblett Lake temporarily dry until spring 2012.
After coordinating with Missouri Departments of Natural Resources and Conservation, Mark Twain National Forest has decided to leave the dam gate open, leaving the lake bed dry except for the perennial stream portion, until spring 2012.
This will allow cold weather to kill undesirable vegetation within Noblett Lake.
Vandals August 17, 2011 accessed Noblett Lake’s dam and opened the gate, allowing Noblett Lake water to flow into surrounding streams. The 70-year Civilian Conservation Corps-built lake has been filling in with sediment and vegetation over the years.
“The water loss presented a unique opportunity to consider restoration of the lake as a fishery, or return the area to its natural condition,” said Ava/Cassville/Willow Springs District Ranger Jenny Farenbaugh.
Once undesirable vegetation has been eliminated, the dam gate will slowly be closed spring 2012 during a period when precipitation is expected in order to minimize stream drying and potential fish kills.
“The lake will refill over a period of weeks, depending on the amount of precipitation and spring discharge,” Farenbaugh said.
“Although we know residents want to know if and when Noblett Lake will be re-stocked, we are working with Missouri Department of Conservation to determine the feasibility of restocking.”
Farenbaugh said Mark Twain National Forest is also working with partners on the restoration project.
“Opportunities to partner with state, Federal and non-governmental organizations for a project of this magnitude abound and are being explored,” Farenbaugh said.
Law enforcement investigators continue their investigation into the vandalism that resulted in water loss at Noblett Lake, located south of Willow Springs, Missouri in Douglas County.
If someone has information about the August 17, 2011 Noblett Lake incident, please contact 417-683-4428 ext. 199.
Mark Twain National Forest is the largest public land manager in Missouri with 1.5 million acres in 29 counties in southern and central Missouri. Mark Twain National Forest’s mission is to continue to restore Missouri’s great outdoors and maintain a healthy, working forest.