Officials weighing options on debris in Foster Lake

Sean C. Morgan

Last week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers removed woody debris from Foster Lake probably for the last time this summer.

That leaves behind debris at the boat ramps, along the shoreline, in the middle of the lake and along the Edgewater Marina wave attenuation structure. Corps officials are warning boats to beware of remaining debris, some of it possibly submerged.

The Linn County Parks and Recreation Department has been removing debris from its boat ramps.

“They have taken debris out by the backload and truckload for three days,” said Elyn Lyon of Salem at the Sunnyside Park ramp as she pushed debris away to make room for her boat to come out of the lake last week. “They are making an effort, but it’s overwhelming.”

“We’re looking for a sustainable solution for what can be potentially an annual problem, recognizing what the Corps can do with limited resources,” said City Manager Craig Martin. The county is taking point on the issue, and the city is taking a support role.

Martin is offering the city’s assistance in coming up with a plan, perhaps contracting with someone to clean out the lake, he said.

“The lake is a big part of our tourism and recreation,” Martin said. “It’s important to do what we can to keep the reservoir available at a high quality so tourists will return.”

This is the busiest time of the year for many local merchants, he said.

He is hoping that a workable solution can be found among all interested parties.

County Parks Director Brian Carroll could not be reached for comment prior to press time.