There is no doubt that Capitol Lake is enjoyed by many for it’s beauty. Swimming and Eltoro sail boats were a pastime for many. A number think the dam should be removed in order to make salmon passage easier.
People who prefer the lake are accused of ignoring the social advantages of reverting to an estuary. The stream proponents ignore the problems of mosquitos and noxious weeds developing in the mud on the lake bottom. Siltation in South Bay is underestimated. Ignored is the liability involved in not dredging South Bay and the difficult job of dredging many improvements in and around marine interests. Siltation must be dredged to protect the economic needs of the port as well as boating enthusiasts.
It’s hard to understand why an estuary is desirable given the ugly tide flat on the east side of the peninsula. Does anyone trust the state to maintain the estuary above Fourth Avenue? Solutions include eliminating sewage drainage into the Deschutes by Thurston County and property owners.
The state has ignored the need for dredging the lake for many years. Such deferred maintenance results in undesirable growth and results in much higher costs than would be required with relatively small annual maintenance. Dredging is required for either solution.
Each alternative is difficult and requires work and relies on dedicated people and funds for the problems created. I believe the esthetic and recreation advantages of retaining Capitol Lake far outweighs an estuary.