A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Company would clean Waverly Lake

Written May 4th, 2023 by Hasso Hering

The Waverly Duck sat in a sea of aquatic muck on Sept. 6, 2022.

The Albany Parks Department hopes to hire a company to keep Waverly Lake clear of unsightly algae and weed growth this summer.

Because of summer heat and stagnant water flow, much of the lake in Waverly Park was covered with a thick mat of aquatic growth in the last few years until cold and rainy weather returned in the fall.

Last November, the city council approved a $20,000 budget increase to try to clean the lake. Now, the parks department is asking the council to authorize it to negotiate a contract with Aquatic Harvesting LLC of Centralia, Wash. The request is on the council’s agenda for Wednesday, May 10.

In a memo to the council, Parks Director Kim Lyddane says the company uses amphibious machines called “aquatic weed harvesters” to remove growth from ponds and lakes.

“Their specialty equipment and certified staff provide an effective and environmentally safe way to clean and maintain bodies of water,” the memo says. “Their Airmax LakeSeries aeration system provides maximum oxygen saturation and water circulation to lakes and large ponds, cleans, clears and balances the pond water, and reduces fish loss and water stagnation.”

Besides looking bad, the seasonal muck of algae and weeds has also hampered the paddle boats that people can rent on Waverly Lake during the summer.

If the council approves the “special procurement,” meaning no need to call for bids, this little lake at the northern entrance to town should look more inviting when hot weather returns this year. (hh)

18 responses to “Company would clean Waverly Lake”

  1. Al NYMAN says:

    If the growth on Waverly is like the growth on the lake on my place, it should be an easy fix. What looks like algae is actually a pea like floater with roots which would easily scoop up by their machine. I have blocked the outlet to our lake and, if you can get enough water built up so you get a good current, they get cleared out.

    • Bill Maddy says:

      Al, I have a similar problem weed in our lake. I have called or identified it as “Duckweed”. It blooms with a pink flower that makes the lake look like Pepto Bismol.

  2. Ed Martiszus says:

    I was riding my bike past a few times, looking at the over fertilized stagnant lake, probably very low dissolved O2, that would be gone w/ rain & cooler Temps. Albany scheduled a meeting but weather changed and scum gone. I’d like to get paid to work on this cleanup.

  3. khs says:

    That’s all good — I’m no ecology expert but if there’s a constant running water system the algae would not start growing. I.e. invest in a really nice water fountain pumping water in the middle of the lake, might cost about the same as this yearly operation in future. In addition it would look cool for tourists entering Albany from I-5.

  4. Don says:

    Should talk to bill Neal about how aggressive some of the algae is.

  5. Snailracer says:

    Wow, not even a peep about the 13,000 gallons of brown trout that was spilled into Waverly Lake, what about a month or two ago? Really?

  6. MarK says:

    Maybe the city should take a look at Thornton Lake. It could really use a good cleaning and some irrigation.

    • Hasso Hering says:

      As I understand it, East and West Thornton Lakes are private property. Whatever is done there, or not done, is up to neighboring owners.

      • Matthew Calhoun says:

        BuT ThE CiTy ShOuLd Do SoMeThInG!

      • Steven Reynolds says:

        Maybe that would be a good article to explore HH? My understanding is Thornton Lake is not private only some of the land around it. It’s a city park on one side of the bridge which in theory supplies access to the entire lake. A park with difficult access and parking even more so than Bowers Rock.

  7. Steven Reynolds says:

    The last time you focused on this was six years ago. Might be an interesting story for a follow up, a “then and now” piece.


  8. Jill says:

    I’m curious if other options were considered, like the sterile carp that will be utilized at Devils Lake in Lincoln City. I think the lake needs to be brought into balance with aeration and animals rather than ongoing mechanical removal.

  9. Randall Harris says:

    Bill made the comment: “The algae wasn’t there before with the same amount of water flow. Something has changed to cause this.”

    I think I have the answer to his question.
    I learned to scuba in Waverly Lake around 1967. The water was deep, clear and all manner of fish were abundant. When I moved back to Albany from Los Angeles a few years ago I was shocked at how bad the lake looked. It is much too shallow in all locations according to every single fisherman I’ve spoken to.

    I believe sediment has built up over the years so much that it allows the summer sun to heat the water much faster than when it had more depth. Waverly Lake needs to be dredged in order to remove 50 or 60 years of sediment and return it to it’s normal depth.

    • Bill Kapaun says:

      One would think they would have some type of documentation from when they scooped it out. Photographs and possibly some actual documentation of actual depth or aggregate removed. An engineer that knows their stuff could probably make reasonable estimates of before/after.

      One could probably do a current crude mapping by two people in a row boat (one rowing and one with a measuring pole) and a dozen or so supervisors on shore to align them to make a proper grid/depth map. The pole would need to be light and some kind of “foot” on it to prevent sinking into the muck. You want to know where the top of the muck is, not the depth the pole penetrates into it.

      Much of this endeavor could be done by some civic minded organization gratis. How about PERS union members?

  10. Randall Harris says:

    Bill Kapaun, my guess is Waverly Lake has never been dredged. If something isn’t done I predict that Waverly Lake will become a meadow within 25 years.

    Waverly lake is slowly dying. Many lakes have been brought back from the brink of dying. One that comes to mind is a large lake near Guadalajara Mexico. It is called Lake Chapala.

    I don’t believe anyone in Albany city government or state officials are interested in taking this project on unfortunately.

    • Bill Kapaun says:

      I’ve only been in town for 42 years, but apparently it was created when they dug out gravel/aggregate for the construction of the Pacific overpass. One could make a case they should just fill it back in to make it original.


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