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Higher Water, Fish Kill At Coralville Lake

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JOHNSON COUNTY, Iowa - Coralville Lake officials said the lake is a bit higher than normal for this time of the year. Currently, the lake is just above 682 feet, U.S Army Corps of Engineers officials are working to drop the level to 679 feet ahead of anticipated spring rains.

"It's a little higher than we would like it for this time of year, but we will get there," said Dee Goldman, who hopes to have the lake to 679 by March 20th. Goldman has served as the operations manager at Coralville Lake since 2012.

Goldman said the Corps has been working with the Department of Natural Resources to temporarily hold the water level up to reduce the impact of an anticipate fish kill at the lake. Thursday, dead fish were scattered all over the main boat launch area near the dam, including sought after game fish.

Johnson County Emergency Manager Dave Wilson said he is working with the other agencies to insure the lake drops to 679 by March 20th.

Wilson said he's confident the Corps will get the lake to that level. Addressing this lake level issue early on will help to avoid another flood event, Wilson said.

This week Corps officials increased the outflow into the Iowa River to help reach their goal.

It's not clear how many more fish will die as a result of the increased outflow. The fish kill has been caused by the deep ice and snow cover, which has reduced oxygen in the water, Goldman said.

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