Flushing of Washington lake continues as residents complain of bad smell

LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — Federal officials have backed off a proposal that would have stopped the flushing of Lake Sacajawea, a practice that prevents buildup of smelly life forms.

The Longview Daily News reports that the National Marine Fisheries Service wanted stop the flushing to protect smelt in the Cowlitz River. Fresh river water is used to flush the lake and prevent algae blooms and microbes from causing the lake to stink.

The flushing usually takes place in May and June, when smelt larvae are present in the river.

Federal officials would have shut off the pumps if a single smelt egg or larvae was found in the intake system.

Under a new compromise, the city can flush but must test for smelt weekly and provide the data to NMFS.