Hydrologic manipulations have the potential to exacerbate or remediate eutrophication in productive reservoirs. Dam operations at Kabetogama Lake, Minnesota, were modified in 2000 to restore a more natural water regime and improve water quality. The US Geological Survey and National Park Service evaluated nutrient, algae, and nuisance bloom data in relation to changes in Kabetogama Lake water levels. Comparison of the results of this study to previous studies indicates that chlorophyll a concentrations have decreased, whereas total phosphorus (TP) concentrations have not changed significantly since 2000. Water and sediment quality data were collected at Voyageurs National Park during 2008–2009 to assess internal phosphorus loading and determine whether loading is a factor affecting TP concentrations and algal productivity. Kabetogama Lake often was mixed vertically, except for occasional stratification measured in certain areas, including Lost Bay in the northeastern part of Kabetogama Lake. Stratification, higher bottom water and sediment nutrient concentrations than in other parts of the lake, and phosphorus release rates estimated from sediment core incubations indicated that Lost Bay is one of several areas that may be contributing to internal loading. Internal loading of TP is a concern because increased TP may cause excessive algal growth including potentially toxic cyanobacteria.
Additional Publication Details
Evaluation of internal loading and water level changes: implications for phosphorus, algal production, and nuisance blooms in Kabetogama Lake, Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota