Testing was done every two weeks, from late spring to early fall, for water clarity, total phosphorus, and chlorophyll-a. The testers were BLCA volunteers, Palmer Township paid for the testing, the BLCA paid for mileage to deliver samples to the lab in Coon Rapids, and Sherburne SWCD analyzed the data for significance and created these charts. This testing and cooperation has been in effect since 2006. Prior to this testing was done on a once a year basis. It was done at various times by various individuals and or agencies making it difficult to confirm water quality trends.When reading these charts, it is important to realize that the closer to the bottom the data is, the better the water quality is in the lakes. For example: The shorter (closer to the bottom) the color bars are the less polluting nutrient there is in the lake. The longer the black diamond tipped line for the secchi disk (the closer to the bottom) indicates how deep into the lake the disc is visible, thus measuring water clarity.
EXTRA TESTING DONE IN 2019:
Periodic flow velocity measurements
Tape-down measurements (stream height) • Water quality sampling
Funding provided by MPCA grant
Much of data collected by volunteers
Curly Leaf Pondweed management.
James A. Johnson (Freshwater Scientific Services)
Eurasian watermilfoil - How to Hand pull - Slightly different on Rush but generally how it is done...
Identification Tips: Reed Canary Grass
Invasive that should be replaced by native grasses because it crowds out natives preventing diversity.
Carp management video
Wakes present dangers to lake users and can damage property. Therefore, it is especially important that boaters be aware of their wakes and how it impacts the shorelines, property, and other people.
Obey the law concerning no wake within 150 feet of docks or shore to keep the water quality healthy and prevent shoreline damage.
Just read the sticker you are required to have on your personal watercraft!
So how do boats affect water quality?
The main problem is motors churning up the lake bottom in shallow areas. This action
stirs up the lake sediment, re-suspending nutrients (phosphorus) that are at the lake’s bottom. When these nutrients reach the surface of the water where the algae are, they can feed algae and cause and algal bloom. This stirring can also decrease the water clarity because of additional particles suspended in the water column. The wash of sediment washes up on shore in the form of mud and plant debris on the neighbors of the active boaters causing them to have huge messes to clean up that others created which if not done sometimes leads to fish kills.
Sand can have a negative impact on the water quality and overall health of the lake.
Some of these effects are algae blooms, decrease in lake depth, fish habitat loss and decline in fish population.
While sand is not the only cause of these problems, it is the easiest one to control – simply don’t put more of it into the lake.
Here are some of the ways that beach sand harms the lake.
Sand does not stay put. Every footstep on the beach pushes it downhill towards the water and it drifts with the current and wind.
Sand leaves the beaches and flows with the water toward the middle. Exposed sand blows from one spot to another, moves with rain and snow melt winds up in unintended places.
Sand that doesn’t drift away eventually works its way into the lake bottom, but even though we may not see it, it’s still in the lake.
The sand we add contributes to silting-in, making the lake shallower. People react by adding more and more sand which is not allowed in Minnesota.
Shallow water is warmer, supports algae growth and is lower in oxygen, conditions that create fish kills.
Silting is a geologic process that happens naturally over hundreds of years, adding beach sand to the natural sediment load hastens this aging process of turning lake into bog or swamp.
Beach sand is different from native lake soil. Sand drifts easily in water, it clouds it, preventing UV light from disinfecting bacteria in the lake — a natural process that is necessary for maintaining good water quality. As rainwater and snowmelt run over the beach they pickup this silt, it goes into suspension in the lake, and can be transported significant distances. The smallest/lightest particles are the last to settle, and thus the first to be stirred up by aquatic animals, humans or even wind fetch induced currents or the annual temperature induced turnover. Reduced clarity correlates to reduced visibility, and a reduction in disinfection of pathogens by ultraviolet light and in studied cases, increases in presence of microbial pathogens. Decline in lake water clarity caused a noticeable decrease in the value of surrounding homes.
Deposited sand has major biological impacts on the lake ecology. Sand deposited and drifted along the shore and lake bottom can smother bottom-dwelling algae and invertebrates, reduce the amount of aquatic and shoreline habitat for fish and crayfish, destroy spawning and nesting sites for reptiles and amphibians, and disrupt the food chain. Fine sand particles suspended in clouded water may clog the gills of our lake fish that are not adapted to a sandy environment. This threatens the fish population.
Beach sand may contain a number of contaminants that will wash into the lake water changing its natural chemistry. If the sand contains phosphorus, a nutrient that supports plant growth and a major contributor to the decline of lake quality, it washes into the lake essentially fertilizing it. One pound of phosphorus can produce tens of thousands of pounds of algae! As the lake becomes shallower from erosion and silting, there is less volume of water in which these toxins and other contaminants can be diluted. Sand is not the only or largest source of contamination in the lake (bigger culprits are run-off from our septic systems, roads and lawns), but it contributes.
There are alternatives to beach sand that cause less damage to the lake ecosystem and water quality.
Check with the county for permits and advise on the best management practices.