KAHOKA, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has begun a scheduled drawdown of water levels at Fox Valley Lake Conservation Area. The procedure, which involves a slow release of water from Fox Valley Lake, will last through the winter in an effort to reduce aquatic vegetation and boost largemouth bass growth. The area will remain open for normal use throughout this procedure, and any interruption to area users should be minimal.
From December through February, MDC will slowly drop the water level in Fox Valley Lake by about eight feet. Beginning in March, MDC will allow the lake to naturally refill to normal levels.
This drawdown of the water level over the winter will expose overgrown areas of the lakebed to colder temperatures and kill overgrown aquatic vegetation along the shoreline.
“Fox Valley Lake supports large amounts of nuisance plant species known as macrophytes,” said MDC Fisheries Management Biologist Chris Williamson. “Most of these macrophytes are not able to survive extended periods of freezing temperatures when dormant.”
This procedure should shift the makeup of the lake’s plant community – and the result will be good news for largemouth bass and the anglers who pursue them.
“Winter drawdowns have been successful in killing nuisance vegetation and decreasing water clarity,” said Williamson. “This can increase largemouth bass foraging efficiency, boost their growth rates, and help them reach preferred lengths.”
Fox Valley Lake Conservation Area contains more than 2,000 acres of forest, woodland, old field, open land, lakes, ponds, grassland, and wetland habitat in Clark County. MDC manages this area for hunting, fishing, and other compatible outdoor recreational opportunities. The area includes an unstaffed rifle and archery range, an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible dock, a picnic pavilion, and a concrete boat ramp, which will be monitored and maintained throughout the winter drawdown process. For more information about Fox Valley Lake Conservation Area and how MDC manages the property to provide a healthy fishery for all Missourians, visit mdc.mo.gov, or call the MDC field office in Hannibal at (573) 248-2530.