Friends of Atascadero Lake is to be commended for its efforts to enhance Atascadero’s little lake. They can’t make it rain. They can’t fill it from a single deep well a couple thousand feet from the lake.
But still, they have been successful in getting us talking about steps to at least ensure that when it does rain again, we’ll have a cleaner, deeper lake than perhaps any other time in the body of water’s 100-year history.
There is no doubt in my mind that this group influenced the city’s efforts to dredge the lake months ago and to continue with more of what I call “digging out the goo” before the rains come.
In fact, Tuesday night the Atascadero City Council will vote on a contract that will result in some more dredging, hopefully more than was done last year around the island.
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I’m disappointed that the contract does not include rebuilding the rock and concrete wall between the Lake Pavilion and the boat docks.
This section has been in an ugly state of disrepair for at least three decades. Even minor work in the lake bottom before it rains in that area could make it possible for civic groups and volunteers to complete work on the existing walking path.
Equally encouraging is that John Lindsey, local meteorologist and media spokesman at PG&E, still feels positive that the Central Coast will get normal to above-normal levels of rainfall, albeit coming later in the rainfall year in February.
Many of you may remember that when the lake was very low in the mid-1990s the “March Miracle” rains filled the lake to where it was flowing over the spillway in just four weeks.
Lindsey is always cautious to point out that weather forecasting isn’t an exact science and there are “no guarantees.”
For right now, I’ll take his positive prognostication of more rainfall than we’ve seen in the past several years.
The city continues to deal with the permitting process before it can set foot — or tractor — in the dry lakebed, but hopefully common sense will prevail and the permitting agencies will let these necessary repairs be done to what has often been referred to as “the jewel of Atascadero.”
And I hope Friends of Atascadero Lake keeps its focus on the lake and gets what it deserves most — a very wet year.