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For 25 years, a dilapidated barge with protruding roof structures and two large arch windows floated in West Sacramento’s upper Lake Washington.
Because of its peculiar look, it was given a nickname by local rowing crews and city officials: the cat barge.
But according to West Sacramento’s Deputy City Manager Jon Robinson, the barge was cleared from the lake in 2017 as part of a major derelict vessel cleanup project.
“It’s a long, twisted story,” but the barge was essentially the remnants of a former boat manufacturing business, said Chief Operations Officer of the Port of West Sacramento Rick Toft.
Over the years, the barge became surrounded by several other abandoned vessels, but “like any business that goes bankrupt, they often leave behind their facilities, their equipment, and they had no means to dispose of that barge,” Toft said.
The process was drawn-out to secure a legal judgment on the abandoned vessels from Yolo Superior Court and secure a contractor to demolish the barges, but West Sacramento’s port is now mostly cleared, Toft said.
Some West Sacramento residents may never have seen or heard of the cat barge before it was torn down because it was tucked away in the northern section of Lake Washington.
But older satellite images still show the cat barge and its companion vessels, proving it was no myth.
“It was a bit of a Loch Ness monster,” Toft said, “but we killed it.”