Algae growth poses problems for ducks in Centennial Park pond

Algae growth poses problems for ducks in Centennial Park pond (Image 1)

The pond in Centennial Park is named Lake Watauga and can be a pretty place to visit.

But mixed in with the beauty and wildlife on Lake Watauga are large patches of algae.

The algae is so thick in some parts of the pond that the ducks choose to fly over it instead of swimming through.

“It ruins the atmosphere of enjoying the day at the park and feeding the ducks,” said local Beth Colf.

The smell is quite potent as well. It is not in every area, but if the wind blows right, you definitely catch a rotten odor.

“It smells like foulness. To me it is like death,” said local Calvin Chatman.

A Nashville's News 2 viewer sent an e-mail saying she noticed a dead duck floating in the water, so we asked Metro Nashville Parks Director Tommy Lynch about the problem.

“This is a high priority for the parks department,” Lynch said.

Lynch says the algae growth is a constant problem in Lake Watauga and results from the lack of moving water and shallow depths.

“As you see, we have fountains to try to oxygenate the water to diminish the problem,” he explained.

He said the city has been working on a plan to solve the algae problem.

“The long term fix is dredging the lake and getting fresh, cool water flowing through it on a regular basis, rather than just depending on storm water flow coming into the lake,” Lynch added.

The lake improvements are a high priority of the Centennial Park master plan and construction should to improve the lake should begin by next year.

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