Clear Lake is part of the natural watershed and is fed by local streams, creeks and rivers, hillsides, highway culverts and irrigation drainage. This, along with wave actions from natural causes, soil erosion and watercraft causes silt and other sediments to be deposited within our canals. This effect has diminished the depth in some of the canals.
ALGAE AND WEED ABATEMENT
Clear Lake is a natural lake. As such, it is subject to the forces of nature. One of these forces is the growth of aquatic plants and algae. Every year during the summer months a particular aquatic plant called Duck Weed, grows in abundance throughout the channels. Unfortunately, Duck Weed grows quickly and if left untreated will cover an entire channel from shore to shore. The rapid growth of Duck Weed and other aquatic plants, besides being unsightly, can cause a navigational hazard since it will clog up a vessel's water intake causing the engine to overheat. In addition to Duck Weed, Primrose has become a major issue in recent years.
Excessive growth of aquatic weeds also slows down the flow of water which in turn diminishes the oxygen levels. Low oxygen levels kill off the fish due to the lack of oxygen. During the year large amounts of dead fish can be seen floating in the water. The smell of decaying fish can permeated the air and make it uncomfortable to enjoy the outdoors.
Around the beginning of the 1990’s, the homeowners of the Keys and the residents and businesses of Clearlake Oaks decided to take action. Funds were raised, and a fleet of four algae spray boats was purchased. These boats, operated by volunteers, began patrolling the channels, spraying water at a high pressure onto the algae. The effect was dramatic. Algae growth was contained, and the water was oxygenated. Fish die off reduced significantly. However, this is an ongoing effort and volunteers are always needed to increase the amount of patrols. Please consider volunteering to be a spray boat operator.
Unmoored docks, abandoned vessels, trash, limbs and leaves are conditions that lead to unsightly views and potential navigational hazards. For this reason, local residents and businesses again raised funds and purchased a Harvester boat specifically designed to remove debris and aquatic plants from the channels. Together with the spray boats and the Harvester, along with the hard work of volunteers, maintaining the integrity of the channels is less of a challenge.