Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lake Hahamongna Appears in Pasadena

 If you were a casual observer, you might think that the above photo features a bucolic lake in the Midwest or South.
When the camera pulls back, though, it's evident that Lake Hahamongna is right here in Pasadena just above Devil's Gate Dam, where the Arroyo Seco flows through the Hahaongna Watershed Park, one of the last intact allevial fans in urbanized Southern California. (That's NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the far distance.)

The recent Los Angeles area rainstorms have dropped about 9 inches of rain in this foothills area, as of noon on December 21st, with another major storm entering the region tonight. Even though the flow of the Arroyo Seco is clearer than after last year's rains, this shot just above the Dam shows significant sediment build-up, possibly a result of last year's Station Fire.

By my estimation, Lake Hahamongna appears to be about two to four feet deep. The red buoys in the photos are to hold back debris flows from the Upper Arroyo Seco Canyon.  If you look closely, you'll see branch and log debris in addition to the sediment above the buoys.

This beautiful lake is reminiscent of the Arroyo Seco and the Los Angeles River in days of yore when both riverways ran free - a place where earth, water, vegetation, and animals lived in harmony among our Native Americans fishing for trout while floating along their waters in canoes. And as we all know, the Arroyo Seco is one of the main tributaries of the Los Angeles River, where fish movement once reached over 50 miles from the mountains to the sea.

Does this look like the place where soccer fields should be?

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