WILLOW SPRINGS — The National Forest Service is making the best of an act of vandalism at a man-made southern Missouri lake in Mark Twain National Forest.
In August, vandals accessed the dam at Noblett Lake near Willow Springs and opened a gate, emptying the water into surrounding streams.
The lake has been filling with sediment and vegetation over the decades, so the Forest Service has decided to leave it dry over the winter to kill the undesirable plants. The decision was made in consultation with the Missouri departments of natural resources and conservation.
The gate will be gradually closed in the spring as the lake is refilled by precipitation. A decision will be made then on whether to restock the lake with fish or leave it in its natural condition.