Located along the Des Moines River in Iowa, Saylorville Dam and Reservoir is located directly upstream from the City of Des Moines, and Lake Red Rock Dam and Reservoir is approximately 50 miles downstream. The Corps dams are operated for flood risk management as well as recreation, water supply, drought management, and fish and wildlife.
Altered flows to the river affect resident fish, mussels, and other wildlife that depend on the river’s aquatic, riparian, and floodplain habitats. The Corps and Conservancy collaborated with scientific and environmental experts to identify environmental flow requirements for the Des Moines River. Several practices have been adopted to manage the reservoirs in ways that provide a variety of benefits.