I took my last walk of the year around the lake yesterday, but this time I walked part way around and then walked right across the widest part of the lake on dry ground. I took the photo above from the middle of here the widest part of the lake used to be. This was the south end of the lake.
As I walked, the cracked lake bed felt springy and spongy beneath my feet. It appeared to still have moisture at the bottom, and the cracks were so big I was almost afraid I’d trip or fall into one.
I also took the photo above from the lake bed. As I walked around the lake, I noticed the bird population is down drastically. Much of the flora near the edges of the lake was dead or dying.
You can see how dry the island which has been a bird refuge is. I took this photo standing right beside the edge of the island. There was no water surrounding it. The city is taking advantage of the lack of water to do maintenance work. I also happened to be walking around the lake in November and made this video of the lake restoration project.
Two years ago, the Atascadero Lake didn’t really have much of a beach, if any. The water right came right up to a narrow shore. Now the beach is almost wider than the lake itself. You can see this couple walking around the lake on what is now the beach
The photo below will show you how the north end of the lake has shrunk. The bridge is no longer over water.
To see why this state of the lake makes me sad, see the contrast photos from my walk just a bit over a year ago in When Drought Becomes Personal. We need rain badly, or in another year the entire lake may dry up.