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Plans for Capitol Lake


Capitol Lake faces a number of challenges, including water quality, invasive species, and sediment management. Current management practices are not sustainable in the long term. Over the past several years, scientists and other specialists have conducted extensive studies to better understand the challenges and opportunities of Capitol Lake.

Much of this work has been pulled together into a single report, the Capitol Lake Alternatives Analysis.

The numerous contributing technical studies and summary fact sheets are also available for review.

For purposes of comparative analysis, the studies reviewed four alternative management strategies:

  • Status Quo – Do not dredge the lake, but continue current dam operations, weed control and other maintenance procedures.
  • Managed Lake – Conduct an initial dredge to restore the depth of the lake and then periodically dredge the new sediment coming down the river.
  • Estuary – Restore tidal action by dredging sediment; removing the dam and constructing a new 5th Avenue Bridge.
  • Dual Basin Estuary – Same as the Estuary alternative, but with a barrier dividing the north part of the lake into a saltwater reflecting pool adjacent to Heritage Park, and an estuary adjacent to Deschutes Parkway.

Other management strategies may prove useful; however, these four options provided a means for comparing and organizing a great deal of technical information. Comments on Capitol Lake and the reports are welcome.