Winter Flyover: Rondell Lake, WSCC

December 23, 2022

VIDEO: Winter Flyover: Rondell Lake

WSCC News is a presentation of West Shore Community College in partnership with Mason County Press. 

Video by Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

VICTORY TOWNSHIP — On the main campus of West Shore Community College sits the newest lake in Mason County. Most would argue that it’s probably not really a lake, but rather a pond. But, at WSCC it is affectionately known as Rondell Lake, in honor of the late David Rondell, professor emeritus of biology. 

According to Professor Emeritus Judith Caldwell, Rondell was responsible for advocating the replacement of the dam with a bottom draw when college officials made plans to expand the campus in 1971. The original plan was just a culvert. “He recognized the opportunity to gain a pond and wetland restoration,” Caldwell said. “The bottom draw keeps the down stream water from being heated by the surface of the impoundment.”

The pond is part of a the Lincoln River watershed, created from a small stream that breaks off of the South Branch of the Lincoln River after it crosses Stiles Road. 

In the book, “West Shore Community College: The First Fifty Years,” author Sarah Jensen, who grew up on the farm that is now part of the college’s campus, described how Rondell and fellow science professor Dr. Dale Sutton enlisted other faculty and students to help clear the area in preparation for the flooding. 

“The lake’s water level and temperature were maintained by means of a draw-down tube, protecting the stream’s ecology,” Jensen wrote. “Erosion was prevented by facing the dam at water level with riprap, and the soil was stabilized with plantings along the shoreline.”


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