LAKE Albert is holding more water than it has for years after heavy rainfall at the weekend flowed straight to where it was needed.Canoeing enthusiast and member of the Wagga Bidgee Canoe Club, Bill Heaney, said he was probably the first person to take to the water yesterday.He took the opportunity to go for a paddle and experience first-hand the difference the downpour had made to the lake."It's the deepest it's been in four or five years," Mr Heaney said."It's higher than it was five or six years ago when they put that path around the lake."Mr Heaney said the 110mm of rain Wagga received on Sunday had made a huge difference to Lake Albert, with the water level continuing to rise yesterday."The incredible thing was that it was coming in at three major areas and it's still coming in now." "It was just so dead before and smelly," he said yesterday.Friends of Lake Albert founder Robert Lazzarini said he was thrilled to see the lake filling up."Obviously we are delighted to see that Mother Nature has been kind enough to fill the lake for us," he said.He said everyone had been keen to head down to the lake and see the improvement the rain had made, with a steady stream of traffic heading down Eastlake Drive."Cars went past my door non-stop all day," Mr Lazzarini said."You'd have to be talking about the high hundreds, if not more."Mr Lazzarini said the significant community interest in Lake Albert should be a sign to Wagga City Council that it was time to do something about the lake's condition."I think this is once again a call for the council that they absolutely cannot keep neglecting the lake," he said."You'd have to be thick as a plank not to see the community loves the lake."He said while water was "absolutely gushing" down Crooked Creek, a lack of maintenance along the creek bed and foreshore meant debris had also been carried into the lake."Crooked Creek should have been clean, ready to accept the flows," Mr Lazzarini said.The torrential rain took the lake's level from about 200mm to just under two metres, which Mr Lazzarini said was a sign boats could soon be able to use Lake Albert again."We need about 2.6 or 2.7 metres for boats to operate," he said.