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Water Quality Update – October 2016

– Brenda Fekete, MLRC Lake Science Manager

Smoke on the water, darker mornings, the appearance of colored leaves and the extra layer of clothes during our early morning boat rides, like October 2015, suggests that fall is here! The intermittent above 60°F days are keeping us smiling, and we are determined to continue sampling well into November this year. The drop in the surface water temperatures and the deeper thermoclines certainly reflect the change in seasons, but those deeper sites always take a bit longer to turn over.

Thank you, again, to all of our wonderful volunteers that have escorted the WQI team to the sampling sites! We will miss all of our volunteers that have taken their boats out or have headed home for the season, but we sure look forward to seeing you all next season. As for the brave, hearty folks that continue to take us out in the cooler weather, we so appreciate your help and could not complete the fall sampling without you!

The Colby students have returned to campus to begin the fall semester. Several of these students are presently involved in the Fall 2016 Capstone Project under the direction of Dr. Denise Bruesewitz. Everyone is invited to hear about their work at a poster session here at the MLRC on December 4th.

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We have had several new helpers on our boats, however. It was a lot of fun to have students from Thomas College, the Snow Pond Arts Academy (with Dr. Thom Klepach) and a very interested Snow Pond resident (and awesome kayaker!), Lyn Choate on our sampling adventures. There were lots of great questions and lots of welcomed sampling help! Luckily they all had beautiful fall weather because we definitely put them to work! A very special thank you to Gary Bennett from Snow Pond Cruises who shared his expansive knowledge of Messalonskee Lake and his awesome tour boat, the Snowdrifter II, with us and the SPAA.

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Snow Pond Academy students learning water sampling techniques on the Snowdrift II on Messalonskee Lake with Brenda Fekete, Logan Parker and Dr. Klepach.

Our weekly secchi disk transparencies, Insitu water profiles, biweekly nutrient grab sampling and monthly phytoplankton analysis on all seven lakes will continue until fall turnover. We have completed most of the sediment sampling process, and hope to complete the sampling next week. The FlowCam will again remain at the MLRC Water Analysis Laboratory to be used for phytoplankton analysis. East Pond and Salmon Pond experienced algae blooms in August through October with North and Great Pond reporting several cove related blooms in September to October. Please feel free to come by and see the awesome pictures off the FlowCam!

We will continue to post the weekly secchi measurements, temperature and dissolved oxygen data on the interactive map, and the present and past data here on the MLRC website. Please contact me if you have any questions, concerns or comments about the data.

We look forward to seeing you at our fall Water Quality Community Meeting at 6 o’clock on October 20 here at the MLRC.

It was a busy, productive and wonderful summer. The staff at the Maine Lakes Resource Center hope you enjoy the beautiful Maine fall!