John Dodge’s important article on Lakefair and Capitol Lake deserves comment.
The vast majority of our community prefers a managed lake/watershed rehabilitation over a mudflat.
The only credible analysis of the public-at-large opinion on this issue has come from interviews/discussions with three public official candidates in 2010 conducted by the Science and Policy Panel of CLIPA (a lake advocacy group).
These candidates collectively doorbelled several thousands of households, and all were surprised at the overwhelming majority who strongly desired maintaining the lake.
The fact that the vista of Capitol Lake was recently voted the “#1 Wonder of Thurston County” by its citizens supports this analysis.
Dredging the lake will significantly reduce the choking weeds, improve water quality, and benefit the hatchery Chinook. Obviously, it should have been done decades ago.
Dredging and infrastructure costs under a publicly/privately funded plan are less than half of those associated with a mudflat re-creation. Third-party reviews confirm this time and again.
The New Zealand mudsnail will easily thrive in a brackish (mudflat) environment. It does so in multiple coastal bays and estuaries from California to Canada.
So, recreation will not be an immediate option in either lake or mudflat scenario.
Most importantly, Dodge points out the false economy of neglecting scheduled lake maintenance. It’s like the guy who purchased a well-built new car and failed to put oil in it because he wanted to purchase other new things. The car no longer runs well.