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Tuesday , 20 October 2020

Tributary testing will be done on Moose Lake as work continues to create nutrients budget

LICA has applied for a grant that could see additional tests done on Moose Lake this summer.

Before LICA and the Moose Lake Watershed Society can look at solutions to solve the lake’s last-standing problems, work is needed to find out how much phosphorus is coming into the lake from outside sources and to create a nutrients budget.

Last year, they completed their look at the internal phosphorus loading in the lake, a major cause of the yearly algae blooms.

After finding out that the lake was internally loaded with 2633 kilograms of phosphorus, now tributary testing and basin sampling begins Thursday to continue looking at the water quality and what nutrients are coming into the lake externally.

“I’m hoping to go out tomorrow [Thursday] and get some samples done. We’ll be visiting the five inlets and then the outlet of Moose Lake,” said Kellie Nichiporik, Moose Lake Watershed Society chair.

“We should know more by July to see if we have big enough grant funding to do the nutrient budget…so once we have that, then we’ll finish water sampling for this year and then have the nutrient budget done at the end of field season…November it should be finished.”

By having a picture of the internal load, external load, and nutrients budget, you’ll see how the water moves in the lake body and then you can target ways to restore the lake, said Nichiporik.

“The whole point of doing the nutrient budget is to really understand where the most phosphorus is coming because phosphorus is what’s going to drive the lake water quality. Phosphorus feeds all the algae in the cyanobacteria,” she said.

“If it’s all coming from the bottom of the lake, or if it’s coming from outside sources, or if it’s half and half, we really have to have a good idea of that in order to target respiration, because obviously, there are limited dollars out there, right. So you want to spend the money where it’s going to make the most effect.”

Water samples from areas like Thin Lake River, the Moose River outlet will be part of getting this complete picture of water chemistry, instead of the composites they receive each year from the Alberta Lake Management Society.

The M.D. of Bonnyville funded the internal loading work last year and will write a letter of support in LICA’s grant this year.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connect Media. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.