University of Iowa

Boone County Fish Barrier- Design and Engineering

As part of the Senior Design Capstone Course, Civil & Environmental Engineering students provided an evaluation of the spillway at the Don Williams Recreation Area and design of a barrier to prevent the loss of game and pan fish, and the related cost estimates.

Don Williams Lake is the primary attraction at Don Williams Recreational Area in Boone County. Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and Boone County Conservation stock walleye and catfish annually in an effort to improve lake quality and reestablish desired fish population. According to the County, roughly half of the stocked fish are lost over the spillway due to fish migration. In addition, invasive gizzard shad and carp have overpopulated the lake, leaving less food for catfish and walleye to thrive.

The Don Williams Lake Spillway Fish Barrier Project will help to maximize stocking efforts by retaining stocked fish, preventing invasive species from migrating into the lake, and improve overall lake quality. This project, completed by University of Iowa students, will make Don Williams Lake a more attractive destination for fishing and recreation, bringing in more visitors, enhancing the sustainability of the lake, and increasing revenue generated.