Atascadero Lake Is a Shadow of What It Was When I First Saw It Years Ago.
When I first moved to Templeton, Atascadero Lake was full. There was, and still is, a walking path around it. In those days, the walk was more scenic. Ducks, geese, and loons called the lake home and lurked around the lake’s edges, hoping someone would break the rules and feed them. People did. Not much of that lake is left. Here’s the way the lake looked in March, 2016.
It was full in 2012, but by December, 2013, it was almost dry, and it looked like this. Most of the water, and the birds, are close to the pavilion. You can see what a small part of the lake that is. I took the picture standing in that dry mud in the foreground.
There were still birds in the water. I love to watch them. Here’s a quick video of the waterfowl I uploaded on November, 15. 2013.
In spite of the shallow lake level, people were still using their kayaks on what was left of the lake.
Here are some of the birds scrounging for food near what’s left of the lake.
If you’d like to hear those birds, as well as to see them scurry, watch the video, taken that same day.
By September, 2014, the lake was dry. This is all there was. You can see the last place there had been water in the center.
Atascadero Lake Knew Better Times.
On June 8, 2010, I took a walk around the lake. I had my little Flip video camera with me that day, and I wanted to capture the various birds I saw in and above the lake. I did not add any sound because I wanted the birdsong to be heard. If you watch the video, you will see that there is still an island, and many of the birds captured in the video are on the island or swimming in the channel around it. Now that channel is dry.
You will also note how the lake hugs the shoreline.
I made these jigsaw puzzle photos at Zazzle when the lake was full during the normal years. Why not get one to remember how the lake used to be, full of wildlife.
Back in 2010, there was even a small working submarine in the lake. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a zoom on my camera back then, and the submarine was on the far side of the lake from where I was standing.
In September, 2012, the lake was still doing well. It was no problem for this dog to play fetch with its human friend.
There was still an island, and this bird was perched on a branch that extended over the channel between the shore and the island.
Notice in this next photo, also taken in September, 2012, how the lake water comes right up to the pavilion and also hugs the shore.
In September, 2012 I saw this man kayaking on the lake and captured this video.
The Future of Atascadero Lake
I hope you are rooting for the lake to come back all the way, as I am. A Facebook Group has been formed for Friends of the Atascadero Lake. The Friends of the Atascadero Lake are committed to working to see that the lake is as full as possible, and that the water is clean. I hope you will share this small slice of the history of the Atascadero Lake. For more on this subject and a video of the Atascadero Lake Restoration Project in progress, see The State of Atascadero Lake Breaks My Heart.
This last photo of the lake is designed for Pinterest if you’d like to share it.