Ever since the founding of Tuttle Creek Reservoir north of town in the 1960s, the lake has been slowly silting in. It’s just the way it works – rivers and streams above flow into the lake, bringing with them runoff from surrounding land, and that stuff settles into the lake.

From the outset, the engineers who created the lake knew that it would have a finite life, since eventually the silt would fill in so much of the basin that it would become useless. That silting-in is clearly visible in the lake’s north end, where boat ramps are dry and what was once a lake is a mud flat. The main basin near the dam still has plenty of depth, and in fact the lake is lasting longer than originally projected, but the point is that it has changed from what it originally was, and the clock is ticking.

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