Over two decades, many reports focused on the need to draw down the Stockbridge Bowl in the wintertime to kill the roots of the weeds.
Years later, we now realize that dredging is becoming urgent simply to prevent the lake from silting into a bog.
The Lake Management Program is a comprehensive plan to clear the Stockbridge Bowl and avoid a real crisis in the coming decade.
The 5 1/2-foot drawdown of the lake requires partial dredging in key locations south and east of the island as well as around the causeway and the outlet to prevent the silt from choking the lake and the installation of a diversion drain in the outlet to draw the water beneath the pipeline and the Town sewer line to cross the outlet. The diversion drain will facilitate the drawdown, the purpose of which is to freeze and thereby kill the weed growth along the shoreline. The 3-D Program (dredge, diversion, drawdown) is critical to arrest the continuous silting in and weed growth that is gradually and surely destroying the Bowl. The harvester will continue to cut weeds at a depth greater than 5 feet.
The Lake Management Program is a massive undertaking that Ken Wagner, the Program’s designer, estimates to cost two and one half million dollars.
The Stockbridge Bowl is a multifaceted economic and natural asset as well as a critical piece of the town’s infastructure that must be maintained.
We cannot afford to fail in this mission.