Lake Wallenpapauck's water quality is doing good, and continues to show improvement over the long term, reported Ed Mayeski, Aqua Link Inc.
Aqua Link is contracted by the Lake Wallenpapauck Watershed Management District (LWWMD) to monitor the water quality Mayeski presented his "2012 State of the Lake Address" at the PPL Wallenpapauck Environmental Learning Center, June 19th, at the request of the district board.
Data on the lake is collected through water samples taken once a month, May through October. Samples are taken at two locations: Station 3, in the middle of the 14-mile lake referred to as Nemanie, and Station 5 near Ledgedale. The latter site is close to the inlet of the Wallenpapauck Creek, where the lake is quite narrow.
Among the parameters checked are secchi depth (visibility), temperature, salinity, total dissolved solids, levels of nitrates, ammonia and phosphorus, and amounts of algae species- phytoplankton and zooplankton. Nets and canisters are used, lowered from the District's boat; samples are taken at various depths. They are taken back for laboratory analysis.
Clarity has improved gradually. Total phosphorus amount has gradually decreased. Total nitrogen readings show a slight increase, but nothing significant, he reported. Chlorophyl-a is slightly up.
Lake Wallenpapauck was described as highly mesotrophic to slightly eutrophic. A mesotrophic lake has an intermediate level of productivity. These lakes are commonly clear water lakes and ponds with beds of submerged aquatic plants and medium levels of nutrients.
Eutrophic is the next higher stage in aquatic biology, with a greater amount of biological productivity. Excessive nitrogen and phosphorus can lead to algae blooms.
Blue-green algae is the predominate species. There were a couple algae blooms in 2012, in June and in September, but the lake remained overall clear.
Mayeski said that Wallenpapauck is typical for this size reservoir and given the amount of development around its shores, it is one of the better. He attributed much of the lake's good quality to the worked done by the Watershed District since1980.
The lake is similar to other nearby water bodies, including Tanglwood Lake and Lake Westcolang.
His recommendations to the Watershed District are to keep a consistent pattern of monitoring and to maintain service with a qualified lake biology firm. "Hopefully us," he added.
The LWWMD office may be contacted at (570)226-3865. Visit online at www.wallenpaupackwatershed.org.