Install and Maintain Water Levels & Temperature Gauges
The installation was completed in August 2020 at the cost of about $6,000, and an annual
maintenance cost of about $9,000 since then. The United States Geologic Survey has installed
and maintained the gauges and is paid for by the Foundation. The data from these gauges are
available on our website and on the USGS website. These projects are in partial fulfillment of
Goal 1 of the Watershed Management Plan.
Installation was completed in August of 2020 at a cost of about $6,000 and an annual
maintenance cost of about $9,000 agreed to. The gauges have been installed and maintained by
the United States Geologic Survey and paid for by the Foundation. The data from these gauges
are available on our website and on the USGS website. These projects are in partial fulfillment
of Goal 1 of the Watershed Management Plan.
The level gauge and the temperature component require regular calibration and maintenance.
The Foundation has committed to paying for the maintenance costs.
Eric Null, the Lake Manager, has noted the utility of continuous temperature monitoring for our
Eutrophic lake: “There are three basic types of lakes, Dystrophic, Eutrophic, and Oligotrophic.
Dystrophic lakes have no oxygen, while Eutrophic lakes have their greatest amounts of oxygen
at the surface. Oxygen then decreases as you increase depth. Oligotrophic Lakes have evenly
distributed oxygen. Oligotrophic lakes do not turn over seasonally, therefore, have a very low
nutrient concentration (infertile). Eutrophic lakes turnover seasonally due to their stratification
of oxygen, temperature, and nutrients.
This turnover is essential for life in a Eutrophic lake. Every spring as the temperature rises and
warms the water’s surface to the temperature of the bottom of the lake (lakes can stay 40+
degrees on the bottom during winter), the wind mixes the surface with the deeper water, the
wind continues to mix the water until the top layer of water slides beneath the bottom layer. The
bottom becomes the top and brings all of the nutrients that fell to the bottom (dead organic
matter) to the surface of the lake where they can be processed by biological organisms. In fall,
the same event happens in reverse. As the surface water cools, it becomes denser and pushes the
warmer bottom water to the surface with all of the summer nutrients. These events cause cloudy
water that can be tinted green. The cloudiness is nutrients and the green are phytoplankton, the
beginning of the lake’s food chain.
These nutrients fuel life in the lake through the winter and the summer. Without the natural
turnover phenomenon, a Eutrophic or Mesotrophic (a high-quality eutrophic lake) lake could not
sustain life. Temperature is vital for fishing, especially during turnover. During turnover, the
surface’s temperature, nutrient, and oxygen concentration change dramatically for a week or two,
forcing fish to the bottom of a lake and suppressing their appetites. Also, temperature dictates
where certain fish species will be feeding in a lake. Temperature stratification of a lake in
summer is the key factor to fishing success.