Lake Quality

A lake’s condition is influenced by many factors, such as the amount of recreational use it receives, shoreline development, and water quality. Lake water quality is a general term covering many aspects of chemistry and biology. The health of a lake is determined by its water quality.

Increasing lake productivity can impact water quality and result in problems such as excessive weed growth, algal blooms, and mucky bottom sediments. Productivity refers to the amount of plant and animal life that can be produced within the lake.

Plant nutrients are a major factor that causes increased productivity in lakes. In Michigan, phosphorus is the nutrient most responsible for increasing lake productivity.  Water clarity, the algal plant pigment chlorophyll a and dissolved oxygen are indicators of primary productivity and, if measure over many years, may document changes in the lake.

The above information was taken directly from the 2008 Annual Summary Report of Michigan’s Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program, published by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (Report No. MI/DEQ/WB-09/005).