Angora Creek’s route about to be altered | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Angora Creek’s route about to be altered

Gregory Crofton, Tahoe Daily Tribune

A creek bed is expected to be dug this summer that will run through private and public land close to View Circle near South Lake Tahoe.

A culvert is also on order to replace the 50-year-old one that accommodates Angora Creek as it flows under View Circle. The work could shut down a portion of View Circle for as long as a month in August.

In all, during this summer and the summer of 2004, about 2,000 feet of Angora will be rerouted so it can flood more readily and allow unwanted sediments and nutrients to be filtered out by wetlands.

Experts believe sediments and nutrients caused by erosion at places like Angora are causing Lake Tahoe to grow algae, thus clouding the water. Angora feeds into the Upper Truckee and is the largest tributary to Lake Tahoe.

The creek bed will replace a portion of Angora Creek, which is eroded and channelized, but not until the summer of 2004. The restoration project is part of the environmental improvement program, a $908 million effort to protect the clarity of Lake Tahoe.

Before diverting the flow of Angora, environmental consultants will plant willows and native grasses in the new bed and let the vegetation root itself for a year before they fill the old bed with dirt and direct the flow of the creek to the new bed.

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The work scheduled this summer will cost more than $700,000. El Dorado County Department of Transportation is overseeing the project. Construction is expected to wrap up in 2004 and irrigation of the area should be finished by 2006.

In total, the cost of the project is estimated to cost $3.1 million. It is funded by grants from the California Tahoe Conservancy, Bureau of Reclamation and environmental funds collected by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

Rerouting the creek and replacing the culvert is El Dorado County’s expected course of action. Consultants are still working to compile environmental impact reports that analyze alternatives to the preferred plan.

Earlier in the planning process, an alternative was proposed to permanently shut down View Circle at Angora Creek to improve the effectiveness of the restoration project.

— Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or by e-mail at gcrofton@tahoedailytribune.com

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