There's interest in removing an eyesore in one of the small lakes that sit within the town of Rock Island. 

Tiny islands in Big Bow Lake are surrounded by rows of tires that are zip-tied to one another. 

Chelan PUD owns the lake, and PUD spokesperson Rachel Hansen says the tires have a history. 

A map of the big bow lake complex.
Image of Rock Island Pond Complex from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Tires were commonly used to protect against shore erosion

“We do know that around the 80s and 90s, it was pretty common practice to install tires as a way to prevent shoreline erosion,” said Hansen. “And there’s examples of this all over the state from that era.”  

Information from the US Department of Agriculture shows that tires were believed to be "pollution-insect free, good insulators, fire resistant when filled with soil and last an estimate of 250 years."

Chelan PUD remains open to changing erosion methods

Hansen says the PUD is open to ideas on removing the tires after complaints that present an ugly appearance. 

"In terms of their future, while we don't know exactly where they came from, we're talking with some of the stakeholders in that area and we're open to ideas," Hansen said. 

More recently, efforts to mitigate erosion have changed with the use of more natural elements such as boulders, river rock, and native plants. 

Big Bow Lake is a 13.2 acre pond that's part of the Rock Island Ponds complex which borders the City of Rock Island off of Highway SR-28.   

The pond is known for its year-round open fishing season, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The lake offers blue gill, brown bullhead, channel catfish, common carp, largemouth bass, pumpkinseed sunfish, and rainbow trout.

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