Water-quality assessment of the Frank Lyon, Jr., nursery pond releases into Lake Maumelle, Arkansas, 1991-1996

Water-Resources Investigations Report 98-4194




Releases of the Frank Lyon, Jr., Nursery Pond into Lake Maumelle were monitored during 1991 through 1996 to assess the impact that the releases have on the water quality of Lake Maumelle. Results indicated that the water-quality impact of the nursery pond release into Lake Maumelle is variable, and appears to be related to the volume of the nursery pond at release and the amount of fertilizer applied within the nursery pond earlier in the year. In 1991 through 1994 and in 1996, nursery pond release loads for nutrients (except for dissolved nitrite plus nitrate nitrogen), total and dissolved organic carbon, iron, and manganese were greater than what would be expected in the annual area load from that basin. In 1995, only ammonium nitrate was appliec to the nursery pond. As a result, the 1995 phosphorus load was lower than in other years, and was less than what would be expected in the annual areal load. Nutrient enrichment, on average, in Lake Maumelle from the nursery pond release resulted in what would be equivalent to an 8 percent increase in concentration of total phosphorus, 50 percent increase in dissolved orthophosphorus, 0.1 percent increase in dissolved nitrite plus nitrate nitrogen, 2.5 percent increase in total ammonia plus organic nitrogen, and 5.7 percent increase in dissolved ammonia nitrogen, assuming that the nutrient load was conservative and evenly distributed throughout the water body. Evidence of elevated turbidity, nutrient, and chlorphyll a concentrations in the epilimnetic water outside the receiving embayment were apparent for as long as 3 weeks after the 1995 and 1996 releases. In general, highest values were found at the site located where the receiving embayment meets the open water of Lake Maumelle. Much of the released material in the nursery pond originated in the cooler, anoxic hypolimnetic water. The initial release water was seen to plunge beneath the warmer water existing in the receiving embayment and was transported into the open water of Lake Maumelle, under the thermocline. The quantity of water and mass of constituents transported into the open water under the thermocline is unknown and probably remained isolated from the surface water until fall turnover.

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USGS Numbered Series
Water-quality assessment of the Frank Lyon, Jr., nursery pond releases into Lake Maumelle, Arkansas, 1991-1996
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey ;Branch of Information Services [distributor],
iv, 38 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.