Are you someone who likes to go out on a boat on a regular basis? Do you like to go fishing? If so, then you know you need to pay attention to where the water is shallow. Some of the shallow depths at Geist are due to natural and manmade sediment deposition. This can significantly reduce the experience of recreational lake activities. So, what is sediment deposition, and what does this mean?

An Overview of Sediment Deposition

Sediment deposition refers to solid material that may have been transported from its original site to a new body of water. There are numerous ways new sediment could land in a body of water. Sometimes, it is brought to the area by the wind. In other cases, the current may drag sediment from one location to another. 

Other times, humans are responsible due to runoff, lawn clippings being put down storm drains, and other intentional and unintentional decisions. Regardless, suspended particles settle at the bottom of the body of water, changing the way that water floor has been structured. This can have a significant impact on boating and fishing. 

How Does Sediment Deposition Hinder Boating?

Sediment deposition has a significant impact on people who boat at Geist. When extra sediment settles in the area, those who take their boat out may find it difficult to find areas with deep enough water to float. 

In shallow waters, the hull of a boat could scrape along the bottom of the lake and cause significant damage. Without some sort of solution, we could find ourselves with less and less lake to boat in.

How Does Sediment Deposition Hinder Fishing?

Sediment deposition can also hinder fishing activities at Geist as well. When suspended sediment enters the body of water, this can reduce the penetration of light. Therefore, fish might not be able to feed well and they could have an issue keeping up with the school. This can lead to reduced survival rates of various fishes.

In addition, plants may be deprived of the light they need for photosynthesis. As a result, the plants may not grow as well, meaning that fish won’t have a reliable food source. 

Sediment can also bury eggs, meaning that fish may not be able to reproduce as quickly. This can further reduce the population of various species of fish. Finally, sediment may also contain a lot of pollution that can harm animals and plants in the area.

Dredging as a Possible Solution

One possible solution that can deal with sediment deposition is called dredging. Dredging is done to remove silt and other types of material from the bottom of various rivers, streams, ponds, and lakes. 

Dredging can also remove sediment that is impacting animals and plants that live in the area. There are numerous types of dredging, and this is an activity that can be tailored to meet the needs of the specific location. One of the proposed solutions to the lake’s issues is to dredge on both the main body and the coves.

Sustainable Solutions for Sediment Deposition

Establishing a Geist Reservoir Conservancy District will allow us the resources to help maintain a healthy sediment level, from both ecological and recreational perspectives. 

We are a vibrant lake community. And with your support, we can enact long-term, sustainable solutions for the benefit of current and future community members. Sign the petition and see how you can help.