Hikers in Camas’ Lacamas Park had to make some detours earlier this week so that Camas city crews could make some repairs to the dam at Round Lake.
This is the first year the city has been in charge of the dam, which was built in 1935 to utilize the water from Lacamas Creek for Camas Paper Mill operations. Original wooden versions of the dam were located in the same spot from 1883 until the concrete dam was built.
Soon after Georgia-Pacific halted most operations at the mill last year, the city of Camas took over operation of the dam, which holds back water in Round Lake and Lacamas Lake. Camas Public works director Steve Wall said one of the old gears that controls one of four spillways on the dam had to be replaced. Consequently, hikers were not allowed across the dam on Aug. 20-21 while the work was being done. The newly repaired gear will soon be tested when all four spillways will be opened up for the annual lake drawdown and cleanup.
The annual drawdown is set to begin on Monday, Sept. 16. Once those spillways are open, it will take about eight days for the water to fully draw down in the lakes.
The dam will be fully inspected from Sept. 24-28, and the annual cleanup of the bottom of the lake will happen at the same time.
“While this is the first year the city of Camas has been in charge of the drawdown, we are following the same process that Georgia-Pacific used, so for residents the process should look and feel exactly as it has in the past,” Wall said.