There’s barely a large puddle these days at Woodlake’s Bravo Lake where six months ago there was a shimmering lake and near-full storage basin. The lack of fall rainstorms coupled with the last five drought years has the lake basin almost completely dry.
The usually scenic Bravo Lake, with the nearby Great Western Divide as a backdrop, is home to a large population of migratory birds and a year-round cackle of ducks and geese. This year, most notably along the water’s edge, is a collection of dead fish, among them many large carp, that had no where to go when the water receded.
The 3.3-mile circular trail at Bravo Lake affords regular recreation and daily exercise for dozens of walkers, runners, and bikers. This month, the distinct fishy smell may be keeping those numbers down.
“There’s nothing really unusual about the low water level this year,” said Ramon Lara, Woodlake’s city manager. “It’s usually drained pretty low this time of year in advance of the runoff from winter storms.”
Lara also said that staff has been fielding some complaints about the odor of decaying fish that figures to continue until the area receives some significant rainfall.