3 Black Hills lakes need draining, sediment removal; officials hope to complete project by May


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RAPID CITY, South Dakota — Three lakes along the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway in the southern Black Hills will be drained so crews can remove excess sediment.

The Rapid City Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1posfSf) that the U.S. Forest Service is draining Horsethief Lake, Bismarck Lake and Lakota Lake. They will be refilled after the sediment is scooped out.

Project coordinator Dave Pickford says removing the excess sediment will restore the depth of the lakes and improve the water quality, which will improve fishing. He says the nutrient-rich sediment will be used as topsoil in areas of the forest that used to be gravel and mining pits.

The state Game, Fish and Parks Department is working to save as many of the fish in the lakes as possible.

Officials hope to have the lakes reopened by May.

Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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