A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Heat at Waverly Lake: No pedaling for now

Written July 29th, 2022 by Hasso Hering

The Waverly Duck doesn’t care, but the city’s paddle boats remained docked Thursday because of the heat.

Heat may not be the only thing interfering with the summertime paddle boat rentals the Albany Parks and Recreation Department normally runs on Waverly Lake.

On its website the parks department says the paddle boat operation was shut down July 26 and will remain so through Sunday because of the “extreme heat.” Forecasters expected highs in Albany close to 100 on Friday and Saturday afternoons.

The boat rentals will resume Tuesday, Aug. 2, the parks department says.

“Paddle boats are no fun to ride when it is really hot out,” the department adds. “Metal and water don’t make for a cool ride.”

Not to mention that you have to pedal like crazy to make the things move. That works up a sweat even on days that are not so hot, especially because the city requires you to wear a life vest.

Hot weather isn’t the only thing detracting from what otherwise might be a fun half hour on a Waverly paddle boat. The other thing is that the pond is increasingly clogged with algae blooms.

Summertime algae blooms are nothing new on  the pond, fed and drained by Cox Creek. Nurtrients in the mostly stagnant water, plus hot weather and sunshine, make the algae grow. Stands to reason that the hotter it gets, the more algae there are.

A few weeks  ago I suggested a volunteer campaign to rake the algae out of  the pond, hoping to enlist drivers of personal watercraft for this. But the suggestion was ignored, as I knew it would be.

Waverly Lake may look unappealing now and is not much fun for paddle boaters. But in July 2022, these are nowhere near the top of anybody’s priority list of things that need to be solved. (hh)

Looking at Weaverly Lake from the southwest on July 28, 2022.

8 responses to “Heat at Waverly Lake: No pedaling for now”

  1. Ray Kopczynski says:

    …and mother-nature will take care of the algae in due time…

    • MarK says:

      Hasn’t been the case for one side of Thornton Lake.

      • Hasso Hering says:

        At West Thornton Lake, neighboring property owners sprung for aerators about 15 or 20 years ago. Don’t know if they’re still in operation.

        • MarK says:

          Must be. The west side clears up in cooler weather. The east side doesn’t. Maybe being smaller and narrower causes the “junk” to take better hold. I just know that side didn’t clear up at all this past winter.

  2. John Hartman says:

    Maybe a 24/7/365 web cam feed of the algae bloom on the City’s Public Access channel. Must See TV!

  3. centrist says:

    My understanding is the lake is a mined out gravel pit that filled with water. The algal bloom shouldn’t surprise or upset anyone.
    It could be managed, but not for free.
    Some commenters seem to find “evidence” of governmental mismanagement in the oddest places, but always deny the need to fund.

  4. MJF says:

    While sections of algae blooms aren’t uncommon in local lakes during extended periods of warmer weather, the dominating end-to-end algae blooms of Waverly and East Thornton Lakes which have become all too common now for many months of the year are the direct result of excessive nitrogen fertilizer use runoff from surrounding lawns and gardens and the increasing temperatures throughout the year due to climate change. Educating the public and encouraging better lawn care practices using less or no fertilizer would improve the situation. Not only do the algae blooms look bad they can become toxic if left unchecked and they deplete much of the oxygen in the water necessary for the survival of lake fish. In turn less fish year after year will have serious detrimental effects on the lakes’ aquatic wildlife including the native pond turtle species.

    • MarK says:

      I think the one side of Thornton Lake will turn into more of a swamp if nothing is done. It’s not just algae that’s decimating that side, it’s also far overgrown plant life.


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