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The East Bay Regional Park District is trying to figure out what to do with Jewel Lake and wants your input.
Between sediment build-up from Wildcat Creek and climate change-propelled drought, the lake is more like a marsh these days.
The district is holding a public meeting Thursday, April 21, via Zoom for people to weigh in on four possible plans for the lake, which has been one of the most popular areas of Tilden Park since it was created in 1921 by damming up the creek to catch water for human use.
The first plan would involve leaving the lake alone and allowing it to become a wetland. The district would spend $2 million to repair downstream land from the dam, and for annual maintenance and permitting.
The second option is dredging the lake, which was done in 1967 and 1991. The district would commit to doing so every 20 to 25 years. It would also create a fishway on Wildcat Creek north of the dam, pushing the current trail up the hillside. With ongoing maintenance, this would cost about $16 million.
The third option would be to restore Wildcat Creek, removing the dam and creating a fishway allowing fish to come upstream and spawn. A new boardwalk would be built spanning the creek. The cost would be $12 million.
The fourth option involves dredging the lake once and creating a bypass channel for fish on the west side of Wildcat Canyon. This would cost $17 million.