Lake Ahquabi State Park
|Lake Ahquabi State Park|
|Iowa State Park|
Sunset on Lake Ahquabi by kayak
|- elevation||860 ft (262 m) |
|Area||770 acres (312 ha)|
|Management||Iowa Department of Natural Resources|
Lake Ahquabi State Park is a state park of Iowa, US, featuring a 115-acre (47 ha) reservoir. Ahquabi means "resting place" in the Fox language. The park is 6 miles (9.7 km) south of Indianola and 22 miles (35 km) south of Des Moines.
The area was recommended for a state park site by J.N. "Ding" Darling and in 1935 the Civilian Conservation Corps constructed the dam and reservoir. However methods at the time did not consider long-term effects of the surrounding 3,321-acre (1,344 ha) watershed. By the 1980s sedimentation had shrunk the reservoir by 11 acres (4.5 ha) and agricultural pollutants in surface runoff had reduced the water quality. Various government and community organizations began working with neighboring landowners to improve Lake Ahquabi. Widespread adoption of soil conservation practices by local farmers and the development of buffer wetlands and sedimentation basins have halved the amount of sediments and nutrients reaching the lake. In the mid-1990s the lake was extensively dredged, the shoreline stabilized, the dam improved, and an aeration device installed. Game fish like largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish, channel catfish, and crappie were stocked. After restoration Lake Ahquabi State Park's annual visitation and fishing use each increased three-fold. Anglers have been catching an average of 2.7 fish per hour, twice the catch rate of most Iowa lakes. It has been estimated that the money brought into the local economy by increased visitation equalled the $4 million spent on the restoration project within 2 years.
The lakeside campground offers 141 sites, 85 of which have electrical hookups, and a youth group camp area. There are modern restrooms and showers and two holding tank dump stations. A stone lodge built by the CCC and three open shelters can be reserved for private events.
Lake Ahquabi State Park includes a sandy beach and two boat ramps. A park concession rents canoes, kayaks, and paddleboats and sells food and bait. Jetties and an enclosed, handicap-accessible pier accommodate shoreline fishing. Circling Lake Ahquabi is a gravel trail which in winter is open to snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. Other trails wind through the woods that flank the reservoir.
- "Lake Ahquabi State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 2000-01-01. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
- "Lake Ahquabi State Park". Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2011-01-28.
- "Lake Ahquabi: A Restoration Success Story". Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2011-01-28.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lake Ahquabi State Park.|