Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Down on the Bayou

When we got to our cabin this trip, we had a big surprise. Instead of the clear blue water we're used to, it was murky and green. Seeing down below a foot or two was impossible.

We've kept records about lots of things over the years: critter observations, gardening, events in nature, the weather.

Here's what we figure. October 2014 was the rainiest October in our records. After a long, dry summer, the creek beds collected a lot of silt and debris. When the first winter rains made them run, all that gunk was washed down into the lake. More than ever before.

Because Powell Lake is so large (and deep), it has taken the suspended silt particles from the major waterfalls at the head of the lake this long to reach us down at Hole in the Wall.

No matter which way you look, it's murky and green, and has remained that way for over a week. If you go north it's the same. If you go south towards the mouth, the murkiness clears up on the surface, but the lake is still has a greenish cast. I'm not sure what is causing that part of the phenomenon, maybe tree reflections, but it's pervasive from shore to shore.

Quite the mystery. If you have any suggestions I would love to hear them. This is a first for us in thirteen years. Makes me feel like I'm in the south living on a bayou.

Speaking of bayous, here's a YouTube video by Enchanted Escape with bayou images set to Creedence Clearwater Revival's iconic song, "Born on the Bayou." -- Margy


  1. Hope it clears up for you soon. Look weird.

  2. Up north, in Bella Coola, the Bella Coola River runs green because it's glacier runoff, which brings a lot of silt down. If the silt is fine, it can be seen still miles out to sea from the mouth of the river. The finer, the longer it takes to settle.

    Do you have ice caps which have melted this summer above Powell Lake?

  3. Stephanie - Yes it does, and it has lasted for over a week so far.

    Susannah - It was one of our guesses, but the glaciers around Powell Lake are quite few these days. But we did have a long hot September followed by heavy rains that weren't too cold in October. But it seems to be SO much! UBC is sending their team back to the lake in about three weeks. If it is still green, maybe they will have a few ideas.



We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy