SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL VARIATIONS IN DESERT LAKE WATER QUALITY (2019) AND THE RISKS OF ZEBRA MUSSELL INVASION AND EUTROPHICATION
Report to the Desert Lake Property Owners Association (DLPOA) by Kate Laird, Brian Cumming and Peter Hodson, Rose Lane, Desert Lake
September 2020

The Desert Lake Property Owners Association (DLPOA) and individual cottagers have frequently expressed concern about possible invasions of Desert Lake by zebra mussels (Dreissina polymorpha), with a subsequent degradation of habitat for aquatic life and recreational use. The impetus for this study was the wide-spread concern among Desert Lake property owners about possible invasions of Desert Lake by zebra mussels (Dreissina polymorpha). Discussions with DLPOA board members ultimately lead to bi-monthly measurements of water chemistry variables in 2019 that comprise this report on lake water quality. This report confirms that Desert Lake continues to have high water quality. Low nutrient and algal concentrations are consistent with oligotrophic conditions and a large reservoir of cold, well-oxygenated waters throughout the season sustains the native lake trout population. The data also suggest a low risk of zebra mussel invasions. Characteristics considered to be of primary importance for invasion of zebra mussels (calcium, magnesium, nutrients, and algal abundance) were near the threshold concentrations needed for zebra mussel veligers (larvae) to establish colonies and grow. However, Desert Lake property owners should continue to be vigilant about changes in water quality and signs of mussel invasions. Property owners need to be vigilant in the maintenance of septic systems and continue to maintain natural shoreline habitats to minimize the input of dissolved and particulate nutrients. Click below to access a shorter summarized report or click to access the September 2020 full report. 

SUMMARIZED REPORT:
FULL REPORT:

 

The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (CRCA) gathered information from a variety of sources to assess lake health and resilience of area lakes. Lakes are impacted by a range of natural and human influences. The Lake Assessment Report presents results of key parameters considering nutrient loading, invasive species colonization and acidification. 

Click to access the 2017 Lake Assessment Report.