A local fisheries biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has received the American Fisheries Society’s Fisheries Management Section Award of Merit. Ben Wallace, who works out of the Black Hawk Lake Fisheries Management Office, was recognized for his efforts in community-based watershed management and lake restoration projects at Black Hawk Lake, North and South Twin Lakes and Storm Lake as well as shallow lake restorations at Lizard and Pickeral Lakes. “Ben has an outgoing personality and ability to work well with a diverse group of internal and external customers to ensure the best possible results with long-term benefits,” says DNR supervisor, Chris Larson. “His remarkable leadership skills through these restoration projects have improved fishing opportunities, public access, water quality and education throughout the region he manages.” Shortly after Wallace was hired in 2009, the $8.6 million restoration at Black Hawk Lake in Sac County got underway with the goals of improving water clarity by reducing nutrient and sediment inputs and to provide a better sport fishery for anglers. Since that time, Black Hawk Lake has become a destination for anglers and other lake users, water clarity has increased and aquatic vegetation returned. The historical bullhead fishery now has excellent populations of bluegill, yellow perch and walleye.