Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Dredging Yaphank Lake

Dredging Yaphank Lake

When I was a kid, (as my kids would say, "back in the day") people used to go swimming in Yaphank Lake.  It was probably the sort of place that mothers liked to come with their small children due to the lack of waves and the fact that the deepest part of the lake is only about 6 feet.  In the mid 80's, when I worked at the preschool just down the road, a bunch of us used to go down to the lake, plop our towels by the "shore" and work on our tans while we watched the neighborhood kids splash around in the water.  It was almost like having part of the day off.

Dredging operation at Upper Yaphank Lake
Some time around then, according to speculation, someone dumped a fish tank, or maybe just a fish from a fish tank into the lake, and invasive waters plant took hold in the lake.

Over time, those plants made the lake go from this:

(minus the black tubing, which keeps the silt from spreading while they dredge) 

...to this.
Lower Yaphank Lake - "Lily Lake"

This is not the same lake, but it's attached to the same lake via a short stretch of stream. Lily Lake or, Lower Yaphank Lake, is just as much of a mess as its sister lake.

 Luckily, a clean-up has finally begun.  I didn't realize it would take such a monumental effort to fix this mess.

First, they rake through the water with this steam-boat looking thing, and pull out the weeds...

Then they pile it onto the shore.  

After the Upper Lake is done, they'll move on to the Lower Lake.

They use this tubing to hold a big screen in place.  It's supposed to keep the silt in a smaller area while they work.  See the massive pipe coming out of the water on the right side of the picture above?  It runs underground and dumps out in the lower lake.  I guess they are filtering out the smaller particles, so pieces of the weeds-from-hell don't spread again.

Look at the massive quantity of this stuff.  
Before they started, the whole lake was literally covered in this stuff

They've pulled multiple piles of this stuff out of the lake so far.  
It's a wonder fish can still swim through it. 

Looking forward to the day when there are kids here again, playing in the water.

If you want to know more about the Yaphank lakes, check out these links...





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