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Muskellunge Lake is a productive, eutrophic lake because of high nutrient loading. Historical data indicate that water quality has only slightly degraded since the early 1970s, possibly because of phosphorus input from effluent from septic systems. A detailed phosphorus budget for the lake indicated that most of the phosphorus comes from natural sources?ground water and surface water flowing through relatively undeveloped areas surrounding the lake. Modeling results indicated that the natural input of phosphorus was sufficient to maintain the lake's eutrophic condition. Analysis of sediment cores confirmed that only small changes in nutrient and algal concentrations have occurred over the past 100 years; however, the analysis indicated that the macrophyte community has increased over this time period. The aeration system, installed to alleviate winter anoxia, maintains aerobic conditions throughout the main bays of the lake.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Water quality and the effects of changes in phosphorus loading to Muskellunge Lake, Vilas County, Wisconsin