Lake, Pond or Slough?

Famosa Slough

I said in my Lake Logic / Pond Logic article that I am not going to be covering salt water bodies in San Diego County. But I have changed my mind, slightly. I'm going to cover one body of mixed salt/fresh water (aka "brackish").

My intent in this article is to introduce FAMOSA SLOUGH and to distinguish between a lake, pond and slough (pronounced SLEW rather than SLUFF or SLO). Here's an old poem to get us started:

'Tis not an easy task to show
How o, u, g, h sound; since though
An Irish lough and English Slough,
And cough, and hiccough, all allow
Differ as much as tough and through
There seems no reason why they do.

Famosa Slough is a 37-acre protected wetlands containing a large body of brackish water in Point Loma. 

Located south of the San Diego River and less than a mile from the ocean, it receives fresh infusions of salt water during each high tide. But because it is lower than the surrounding hills of Point Loma, it also receives runoff of fresh rainwater. The water salt content, daily refreshment by tidal action, and channels of moving water differentiate this body of water from a normal lake or pond.

Famosa supports a large number of aquatic birds and other marine life.

I had a fun time spotting and photographing these birds. There were more birds than I have seen in other ponds during my quest. Is it because there is more food available? Is it the salt water? Is it continual in/out of the tidal flows? Isolation from cats, dogs and people?

Ducks seem to be feeding all the time.

This is the channel connecting to the San Diego River (via a number of large pipes / tunnels) and thus to the Pacific Ocean.

Here are some of the pipes that run under the freeway to the river channel.

Here is a link to the Friends of Famosa Slough

This is the main body of the Slough which has the appearance of a lake or large pond.

Typical signage, with a bit of self-congratulatory back-slapping "We lead the nation!" etc.

The slough is under the flight path of departing aircraft from Lindberg Field.

The Slough of Despond is a fictional, murky bog in 
John Bunyan's 1678 allegory The Pilgrim's Progress
into which the protagonist Christian sinks,
under weight of his sins and guilt.

On most days, Famosa Slough is a bit nicer than that!

Although occasionally it's less inviting... as on this Friday the 13th!