Lake Red Rock — Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) will sponsor a creel (angler) survey aimed at establishing current fishing activity in the Lake Red Rock tailwater area below the Red Rock Dam. MRES plans to begin constructing a hydroelectric power plant at the dam in 2013.
MRES has enlisted Stantec Consulting Services Inc., to conduct the survey over a 20-week period beginning in May. Stantec personnel will collect water and weather data, count shore and boat anglers, and survey anglers about various topics related to their fishing activity.
Surveyors will ask anglers about how far they’ve come to fish, how long they’ve fished on the day they are surveyed, how many fish of each species they have caught or caught and released, the length and weight of the fish they’ve caught, and their satisfaction with their fishing experience.
Stantec surveyors will be at the site three days each week during the survey. Those days will be random, but each week’s survey activity will include either a Saturday or a Sunday.
MRES Power Supply and Operations Director Ray Wahle said that MRES is sponsoring the survey and cooperating with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which operates the Red Rock Dam. “This survey is not a requirement, but we feel it is important to document fishing conditions below the dam at this time,” Wahle said. “It has been more than 10 years since the last survey was done in this area.”
Ben Dodd, fisheries biologist with the DNR, wants anglers to know that surveyors will be asking several questions, but that the survey is not an enforcement or compliance effort. “We are simply gathering information about fishing pressure and success below the tailrace,” Dodd said.
MRES, headquartered in Sioux Falls, S.D., is an organization of 61 member municipalities in the states of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. MRES provides its members with wholesale electricity and a wide range of energy-related services. Pella is a member of MRES, and, like all of the members, it owns and operates a municipal electric distribution system.