Lakes are somewhat like quality wines. There are some good years and some not so good. A sunny season with minimal rain will produce excellent results, sometimes exceptional wines. For our lakes, the first three years of this decade were exceptional. Low phosphorus count, little chlorophyll, great clarity. Overall weather was just fabulous.
Not so in 2014. It rained, no, it poured during most of the summer. There was so much run off that lake levels reached historic highs. That run off brought lots of nutrients to our lakes. Consequently, chlorophyll levels were higher, phosphorus levels were much higher than the previous years and clarity was dismal.[pe2-image src=”http://lh5.ggpht.com/-Osyb51fhq6Q/VO3sG_Ds9lI/AAAAAAAAK8o/aUKp1xvKBgY/s144-c-o/Cartes%252520bathymetriques%25252020141.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116669546391099247746/CartesBathymetriques#6119807073416705618″ caption=”Cartes bathymetriques 20141.jpg” type=”image” alt=”Cartes bathymetriques 20141.jpg” ]
To view the charts, click on this link. There are two for each lake. The first one (sa_su) is the 2014 chart, the second one (pcp) is the multiyear
These results are no cause for alarm because they are the same for all four lakes and we know that they are the consequence of natural events like exceptional rainfalls. But they certainly remind us to be very vigilant and this is why we continue to subscribe to the whole RSVL Program. They also show how delicate this environment is and demonstrates the importance of preventive measures such as strong protection bands around our lakes. The cumulative effect of nature and negligence on our part could have devastating effects.
Finally, big thanks are due to our four lake volunteers who collect water samples and measure clarity throughout the summer months: John Parsons on Black, Rick Havill on Boyd, François Côté on Clear and Sheryl Jackson-Caron on Curran.
I have illustrated this post with our latest bathymetric maps. They are very useful for the management of our lakes program. Our thanks to the Conseil régional de l’environnement des Laurentides of which we are members and Dr. Richard Carignan and his team from the University of Montréal. To enlarge the maps, just click on them.