Low water levels expose berm in Greene Acres Lake

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Due to drought conditions and low levels at Greene Acres Park, a berm was exposed in recent weeks in the southeast corner of the lake.

Liliana Castillo

A berm in the southeast corner of Greene Acres Lake has become exposed in recent weeks with drought conditions causing low water levels at the lake.

But the history of the berm is uncertain.

Clovis Parks and Recreations Director Bill Bizzell said that in the 1960s when the lake was created out of a playa area, the berm was built to corral fish and water when the bottom of the lake needed to be dredged.

“We believe is that it was a dam area for dredging of the lake,” Bizzell said. “Bottom line is we just need some rain.”

New Mexico Game and Fish Biologist Sean Denny has been stocking and monitoring Greene Acres for decades. He said the lake is five feet at its deepest point. He said the lake is relatively flat so there remains enough water to support the fish life of the lake.

Bizzell said ideally the lake could use another six feet of water.

Clovis City Manager Joe Thomas said the berm has become exposed one other time in his tenure with the city in the 1990s.

“Based on engineering, if you were going to try to dredge the lake you would need something like that,” Thomas said.

Clovis City Commissioner Len Vohs became curious about the berm and began making inquiries over a month ago, he said. A Clovis native, Vohs said he had never seen the berm before.

“I started to see it form and I thought ‘wow.’ I have never seen anything like that,” he said.

Vohs called Bizzell and heard the story of the berm being used to create a pool for dredging of the lake.

“I told Bill that’s not a very good story. The story I like is its a landing pad for the UFO before it went to Roswell,” Vohs said, laughing. “You know the berm creates almost a perfect circle.”