(Above) Dredging began June 8 in the Venetian Village canal, located on the north shore of Clear Lake. - Reporter photos by Marianne Gasaway.
by Marianne Gasaway
After five-years of planning and research, dredging work has finally begun at the Venetian Village canal.
Venetian Village Canal Association President Mike Schweizer said approximately 9,000 cubic yards of sediment is being pumped from the canal to the Iowa Regular Baptist Camp, located just west of Venetian Village on the north side of the lake. The $240,000 cost of the work is being paid entirely by 43 lot owners in the association.
Superior Sea Walls and Docks, of Illinois City, Ill., is doing the work. The firm has constructed a one-half acre berm at the Baptist Camp to contain the silt being pumped from the canal. As the sediment settles at the site, clean water drains back into the lake. After the fill dries, the Baptist Camp will use it for its landscaping projects.
“We dredge the end of the canal every year and truck it to the Baptist Camp, but we never thought they would be interested in having this much fill pumped to the camp,” said Schweizer, who has been working to organize the dredging project for years.
The Venetian Canal was opened in 1957 with an original depth of eight-feet, explained Schweizer. At that time, most properties benefitting from the lake access the canal provided did not have any shoreline improvements, such as rip rap or sea walls. Over the years, four-feet of silt has settled into the canal. Schweizer noted the improved health of the lake has also contributed to a good amount of vegetation growth on the bottom.
The vegetation, as well as litter and other objects settled in the silt has somewhat slowed the dredging progress by clogging