LOCH-TOBER: The Final Chapter

As we wave goodbye to our LOCH-TOBER series, we focus on the lake management strategies of Spanaway Lake. Like many of the lakes Herrera manages, Spanaway Lake has been plagued by cyanobacteria blooms. Read on to learn how Herrera’s lake experts help restore and maintain Spanaway Lake!

Nestled downstream of the largest remaining piece of historic glacial outwash prairies, Spanaway Lake has fallen prey to persistent cyanobacteria blooms that disrupt the peace of this vibrant community. To revive the community’s cornerstone, Herrera devised a holistic lake cyanobacteria management plan that encompassed:

  • Oxygenation Solutions: Enhancing oxygen levels in bottom waters of the lake to eliminate the internal release of phosphorus from lake sediments and create a less favorable environment for cyanobacteria.
  • Sustainable Watershed Practices: Collaborating with local residents and municipalities to implement sustainable land-use practices and enhance sanitary and stormwater systems in the surrounding watershed to protect the future of Spanaway Lake.
  • Continuous Vigilance: Establishing long-term monitoring and management protocols to safeguard Spanaway Lake’s water quality and the Lake Management District’s resources.

As a result of this planning effort, solutions to control cyanobacteria are underway. We look forward to Spanaway Lake’s re-emergence as a peaceful oasis, where residents and visitors can once again enjoy safe recreation in its clear waters.

Cyanobacteria blooms might be a persistent challenge in freshwater lakes, but Herrera's lake management plans have given a clear pathway to show that these problems can be effectively addressed. Through science-driven strategies, active community engagement, and a commitment to environmental stewardship, Herrera is helping communities across the Pacific Northwest protect and restore the natural beauty and recreational value of their lakes. Together, we can tame the blue-green menace and ensure that our freshwater treasures remain pristine for generations to come. Stay tuned for more updates on our ongoing lake management projects and our relentless pursuit of healthier, thriving freshwater ecosystems.

Map of Lakes in WA
Herrera’s impact on lakes is far-reaching. From our three Washington and Oregon regional offices (blue flags), we have worked diligently over the years to restore numerous lakes throughout the Pacific Northwest (yellow markers), including three lakes from the highlighted examples (blue markers).

Other lakes Herrera is currently working to protect or restore include:

  • Blackmans Lake (Snohomish, WA) to develop a Lake Cyanobacteria Management Plan
  • Echo Lake (Shoreline, WA) to develop a Lake Cyanobacteria Management Plan
  • Curlew Lake (Republic, WA) to develop a Lake Cyanobacteria Management Plan
  • Lake Campbell (Anacortes, WA) to develop a Lake Cyanobacteria Management Plan
  • Lake Tapps (Lake Tapps, WA) to develop a Water Quality Management Plan
  • Blue Lake (Fairview, OR) to perform a Water Quality Technical Review
  • White Lake (Auburn, WA), to monitor cyanobacteria blooms and support management

Contributing Authors: Rob ZisetteKatie Sweeney and Tim Clark