Dredging Info for the Portage Lakes

The dredging has been completed in Latham Bay, Rex Lake and Dusty’s Channel. The dredge will remove sediments and nutrients from the lake bottom leaving a healthier lake and improved navigation.

There are red 14” float balls that will indicate the location of the dredge pipe that lays on the lake bottom. It is important that boats STAY CLEAR OF THE FLOATS and DO NOT TOUCH them.

The dredge articulating arm will remove sediments in an arc of approximately 100 feet as it swings side to side. It relocates and repeats this process, and it is expected to remove 3,000 cubic yards each week.  The dredge could be in the Portage Lakes area for as long as ten years.

The exact schedule/order of areas to be dredged will be known after a bathometric survey of all lakes is complete. A bathometric survey maps the lake bottom.

Having a Dredge Materials Recovery Area (DMRA) is critical to the ongoing project. Currently, there is a 15-acre site on the new State Park property that is expected to service Latham Bay, Rex Lake, Mud Lake and Turkeyfoot Lake.  As the dredge moves to other lakes, new DMRA sites will need to be secured and the ODNR is in the process of locating suitable areas for use and state lands will be used where permitted.

The pictures below show how a DMRA works with the flow of the materials and water following the path through the various dredge pits in a process that allows the sediments to settle and clean water to be returned to the lake.

Water with sediment        Water after sediment settled into DMRA

What the dredge will not be doing . . .

The dredge will not operate closer than 20 feet to any shoreline, within 20 feet of residential docks or between docks.

Residents who need dredging along their seawalls and docks should contact the State Park office for the private permitting process. The dredge will not operate in private areas.

The Portage Lakes Advisory Council promotes the use, preservation and conservation of the Portage Lakes ecosystem while increasing public awareness and understanding of issues that affect its watershed. The Council also works to increase the safety of those that enjoy the many activities available, ensuring the Portage Lakes with its fish and wildlife and recreational opportunities will be here for future generations.

Help Portage Lakes Advisory Council continue their work in the community.