Andrew Mac Math and I have done the first two lake profiles for May and June. (see attachments) It is my intention to continue doing a profile at least once per month till ice on or it gets too darn cold to continue.
It is not an onerous or difficult task, so if anyone wants to volunteer an hour or so I would really appreciate it. Give me a call: 250-314-6760 or send an email to this address. It takes two people to do it safely, so if you have someone who you could partner up with I would be happy to provide a demo on the procedure.
The best results are obtained by ensuring that the profiles are taken within a few days either side of ones done in previous years. This means that the next one is due between the 16th and 20th of July.
Comments: Refer to the data sheets below for values.
On the whole our lake is doing not too badly for a lake that is in the middle of its life and whose watershed has undergone significant changes over the past 30 to 40 years – expansion of residential and park areas, increase in paved roads with commensurate increase in vehicular traffic and most recently the pine beetle infestation.
Whether you have been boating or fishing or just using the lake water for the household, you will have noticed that, over the past two years the lake water has become quite brown in colour and the sediment concentration has increased considerably. I know that I have had to change my filters almost twice as often over this time frame.
Both of these conditions reduce the transparency of the water Note the difference in the secchi depth between June 17/17 and June 18/18 - 5.7m vs 3.9m. (Secchi depth is a measure of the transparency of the water).
There are a number of factors that have come together to produce these conditions.
First: A significant percentage of the watershed is still recovering from the pine beetle infestation. Debris from the logging is now decaying providing an increase in organic material and.
Second: The vegetation replacing the pine forest is predominantly deciduous poplar,aspen, alder and willow, all of which produce leaf litter that as it decays adds to the organic loading in the form of tannins (hence the brown colour).
Third: The pine tree removal has led to an increase in exposed ground leading to greater than normal erosion, which has been magnified by two years of heavier than normal snow load followed by relatively high runoff.
Forth: The beaver activity at the outlet is maintaining a high water level throughout the year which causes a reduction in the flow through and resultant slow clearing of the lake. Variation in lake, water level is essential to a healthy aquatic environment.
Higher than normal water levels cause incorporation of shore areas that at normal levels would be dry. This may also lead to an increase in conductive salts and sediment through erosive wave action and leaching. Note the elevated numbers under specific conductance columns.
Long term high water levels also increase the organic material loading by eventually killing vegetation in the affected areas. This decays over time, which may, if severe enough, lead to an undesirably high organic content and reduced O2 levels during the winter resulting in possible fish kill. (this is not a problem at this point in our lake).
Ideally, the water levels should vary throughout the year. Temporary high water levels will increase the nutrients essential to the support of the food chain and therefore to a healthier lake. Changes in water level are also necessary for the health of the wet lands that are so important in purifying water and providing bio-habitat.
Obviously there is a delicate balance that must be maintained among these factors if optimal conditions are to prevail.
The changes we are seeing will definitely affect our aquatic environment in the short term but they are probably not so much detrimental as they are annoying. However, they do demonstrate the need for careful monitoring and maintenance of our watershed.
UPDATE: Joey has been adopted! Joey is a friendly 1 year old short hair brown tabby. He loves to play but is happy to relax on his own as well. He is very smart and was even taught to do cat agility with the students! Joey needs to be in a home with no other cats where he has space to roam and explore. He can be very gentle but also can play quite rough at times so therefore would prefer a home with older children that respect his space. If you’re interested in adopting Joey please email Thompson Rivers University Animal Heath Technology: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com