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Why Tama is letting a lake dry out

Posted on October 25, 2023

A paper mill closure has caused the west end of Cherry Lake in Tama to dry up.

The paper mill used water for production and was the lake’s major supplier of water.

Now, the plan is to let the rest of the lake evaporate. Once dry, Cherry Lake will be dredged to make it 5 feet deeper than its current 3-foot depth.

“At the recommendation of the [Department of Natural Resources]. They have recommended that we let it dry up so we can get it dredged out and make it a little deeper,” Tama Mayor Brian Hanus said.

The plan will make Cherry Lake a more attractive destination. However, the drying process could take years.

A resident KCCI spoke to said they approved of the decision, so long as they follow through on the plan.

“If there is follow through in the dredging and bringing it back to life so folks can come back around and enjoy this area … It’d be wonderful,” said Angela Von Krog, who grew up near Cherry Lake.

The mayor and the city council will have the final say.

“I can speak for myself and the council that we want it saved. We want it back,” Hanus said.



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