LWTF News Archives: Winter 2007/08
Annual Monitoring Report for 2007
Following is an executive summary of the 2007 Lake Waramaug Monitoring Report from Robert W. Kortmann of Ecosystems Consulting Service, Inc. issued on February 5, 2008:
- Thermal Stratification was similar to previous years.
- The "mild" winter of 2006-07 resulted in more winter phytoplankton productivity than normal. As anticipated, that resulted in decreased Nitrate-N and Silica availability during the spring and summer of 2007. Fortunately, the diatom die-off that occurs between April and May decreased phosphorus availability. Hence, although Nitrate-N and Silica were exhausted early (which could result in stimulation of N-fixing bluegreen algae), total phosphorus availability was low in surface waters during the summer of 2007.
- Summer Secchi disk transparency was good during 2007 (8-10 feet).
- Loss of thermal stratification in the fall exhibited less of an increase in total phosphorus (and phytoplankton) than observed in previous years.
- Ash Swamp appears to become a significant source of total phosphorus (TP) during late summer and fall, as well as inorganic nitrogen and products of anaerobic respiration .
Several observations lead to a relatively optimistic forecast for Lake Waramaug in 2008. The lower than normal increase in nutrients and phytoplankton during the fall of 2007 may carry over to the spring of 2008. Winter 2007-08 has exhibited more typical weather patterns, ice cover, snowpack etc. Although limited by available light during the winter, diatom productivity may reduce nutrient availability as the lake develops stratification. The observed large-bodied cladocera population (which has not been seen since 2004) may also suggest a population increase and increase in grazing rate.
Although a prediction of lake conditions during the summer of 2008 is difficult, all indications are positive for continued lake quality improvement.
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