SALIX, Iowa (KCAU) — Like many Siouxland waterways, Brown’s Lake and Snyder Bend have seen a significant decrease in their water levels affecting residents and visitors to the area.

The Iowa DNR and local organizations held a meeting at Bigelow Park Monday night to discuss what can be done about the low levels. At that meeting, the general public got a chance to air their frustrations directly to the people who are working to do something about it.

The lower than usual levels are due to multiple seasons with drought-like conditions, and it’s starting to affect homeowners and visitors to the area.

“People are going to have to travel to do things. I mean, we have the river but a lot of people are fearful of the river or don’t like it. We don’t have very many lakes here so people are going to have to travel a little bit to enjoy the outdoors,” Woodbury County resident Andy Erwin said.

“Anglers can’t get out and fish, lake homeowners can’t use their boat lifts and hoists, people can’t use the boat ramp, people do start to get concerned about the fish if the levels start to drop,” Ben Wallace with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources said.

The Iowa DNR and Woodbury County Conservation hosted a meeting, telling the public that they understand the frustration, but that not much can be done at this time.

The Iowa DNR explained why the water isn’t flowing to either Brown’s Lake or Snyder Bend, saying that they are pumping water into it, despite believing they aren’t.

They said the ground is extremely dry, and there’s a large amount of sand in the area, soaking up a decent amount of water and keeping it from flowing into those lakes.

“Not just through evaporation, but through the ground as well. We want to quantify how much water we’re losing and also understand where all of our water comes from and the quantities associated with those levels,” Wallace said.

They said they plan to spend the next few months studying the discrepancies in the numbers while looking at other solutions to the drop but Wallace added that it is common for lakes to go through a dry cycle once every 10 to 12 years.

Officials added that plant and marine life in the lakes have adapted to that cycle so that when a lake does return to its normal levels, it’s healthier than it has been in a long time.