2022 – LMC Year in Review
Dave Ernes – Lake Management Committee
This article summarizes the Lake Management activities that were completed this past year. This is a brief overview, with more information available in previous articles available on the RRA website.
Algae Control: One of the main focuses of the Lake Management Plan (LMP) is to control the appearance of harmful algal blooms or HABs. In 2021, this was accomplished with the use of VodaGuard C, a copper based product added to the lake to kill the cyanobacteria responsible for the HABs. This was continued this past year. Unlike 2021, we did not see the reappearance of the blooms later in the summer. While there are several reasons for this, one was that we had fewer storms. Nutrients continued to be released from sediments in the lake bottom, but the lack of rain events prevented it from being mixed throughout the water column. As a result , a second treatment was not needed. The in-lake testing program conducted by EnviroScience, and reported in their recent report, verified that this year’s water quality was improved over last year. As we evaluate the data year-to-year, we can learn more about how our lake behaves and better plan for issues as they develop.
Watershed: External sources of nutrients arrive by run-off from the watershed which enters the lake from our individual properties, as well as via the various streams. The largest of these is Rock Creek to the south. We investigated this source in a number of activities. First, we hosted representatives from the Nature Conservancy and Ashtabula Soil and Water. They did an on-site evaluation of a section of the Rock Creek watershed and found that there are areas where a wetland has developed which is nature’s way of reducing nutrient inflows. In addition, we had testing of Rock Creek from Route 322 to the Route 6 bridge. It showed that during a “wet” period, the area identified as wetland did reduce the nutrient flow originating at 322. During dry periods, the area tested showed a consistent nutrient load. While the wetland reduces the nutrients from the south, background level of nutrients of Rock Creek is still the highest of the other watershed inputs.
Weekly Testing: The beaches are tested weekly for the presence of bacteria (E.Coli) and at a different schedule for algal toxins. Overall, the bacteria results this past year were lower than they had been in the previous two years, and with fewer results above the EPA target levels. Some of this may be attributable to the use of lasers to discourage geese from frequenting this area. The goose droppings are a source of bacteria (and nutrients) in the beach area, as well as throughout the lake. The algal toxin levels measured were at the lowest level observed in recent years, with all well below the EPA Advisory Limit. This reflects our ability to control the algal blooms discussed above.
Fish Survey: This year we had a fish survey conducted by Jones Fish. Overall, the fishery was stated to be healthy. There is a wide assortment of species from bluegill and sun fish to the preferred largemouth bass. While the latter were found to be healthy, the results did show a population “hole” in the two-three year olds. The cause was not identified but was suspected to be due to weather-induced issues during spawning. The most recent generation did not appear to show this decrease. We anticipate following up on this again in a few years.
In summary, the year 2022 was a good year for our lake as a whole with regard to water quality. This does not diminish the fact that some areas still have issues. It is not possible to predict what we may see in 2023, but we have experts available to monitor the lake water quality and make recommendations should they see any issues develop. You too can help by reporting anything of concern at email@example.com. Our thanks to those of you who are helping us by following many of of the best practices we have reported. As we move forwards, we can all be successful as long as everyone does their part to …
Be Lake Responsible