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Atascadero lakebed vegetation being cleared by hungry goats 

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– The City of Atascadero Public Works Department has contracted with Central Coast Green Goats of Atascadero, owned by Annie Defeyter, to supply a herd of approximately 75 goats to aid in the vegetation removal within Atascadero Lake, which is expected to be accomplished within the next 60 days or so.

The goats are contained by temporary fencing within a small section of the lake, starting at the deepest portion of the lakebed, where they remain for three days or so, until the weeds from that section are completely cleared. The fencing and the herd are then relocated to the next section for another three days. That process will continue over the course of the next couple of months, and it is expected that by that time, most if not all of the existing vegetation will be eliminated.

The goats will methodically be moved from the lower levels of the lakebed to “higher-ground” as the process moves forward; in this manner they will remove the vegetation where any potential runoff from rainfall would gather first, if rains do arrive before their job is finished. The goats will never be in any danger as the lake fills and the water level gets higher.goats 2

The goats are shepherded and protected by a large, white Pyrenees herd-dog, who keeps an ever-watchful eye out over his tribe, protecting them both day and night. The dog, which goes by the name of Duke, is somewhat hard to spot among the white goats.

In addition, to further get the lake ready for the coming and expected rainy season, the city has made additional repairs to the lake supply pipeline, which helps to supplement water in the lake by piping it from Atascadero Creek during the rainy months, when the creek flow reaches a sufficient level to do so. The city is continuing to make repairs and improvements to the supply line to be able to take the best advantage of the permitted excess creek flow when the rains come.

For more information call the City of Atascadero Public Works Department at (805) 470-3180.

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