INDIANAPOLIS — Winona Lake was among nine lakes to receive funds for a sediment removal plan as part of the Lake and River Enhancement program in the Department of Natural Resource’s Division of Fish & Wildlife. Grants were also awarded to fix logjam problems in lakes and rivers. The grants totaled $554,000.
The grant for Winona Lake totals $7,500.
Also receiving grants were Simonton Lake in Elkhart County in the amount of $100,000 for sediment removal; Pigeon River and Oliver, Olin and Martin lakes in LaGrange counties. Pigeon River received $6,000 for logjam removal and Oliver, Olin and Martin lakes received $96,000 for sediment removal.
Funds were also provided for a logjam removal in the Elkhart River-North Branch in Noble County totaling $2,000.
The grants involve 10 lakes and three rivers. The projects were selected in a competitive process from among applications submitted by local sponsors. The grantees must share at least 20 percent of the cost.
Sediment removal will increase public access to lakes through selective dredging of lake inlets and areas used by boaters.
Logjam removals should reduce erosion caused by streams diverted by the obstructions. Also, the clearing will improve access for boats, kayaks and canoes.
LARE grants are funded through the Lake and River Enhancement fee paid by boat owners annually when they register their boats with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. This “user-funded” program benefits boaters all over the state. The grants allow for the completion of projects that would be difficult for local organizations to fund on their own.
“These projects will enhance public accessibility to selected Indiana waterways and lakes, thus increasing recreation potentials for boaters, anglers, paddlers, and others who enjoy Indiana’s lakes and rivers,” said Mark Reiter, director of DNR Fish & Wildlife.