Since 1999, samples have been collected annually from Spring Lake to evaluate water quality conditions. The discussion below provides background information on lake water quality and key sampling parameters.
Oligotrophic lakes are generally deep and clear with little aquatic plant growth. These lakes maintain sufficient dissolved oxygen in the cool, deep bottom waters during late summer to support cold-water fish such as trout and whitefish.
Eutrophic lakes have poor clarity and support abundant aquatic plant growth. In deep eutrophic lakes, the cool bottom waters usually contain little or no dissolved oxygen. Therefore, these lakes can only support warm-water fish such as bass and pike.
Lakes that fall between the two extremes of oligotrophic and eutrophic are called mesotrophic lakes.
Spring Lake is eutrophic
Key parameters used to classify lakes and to evaluate water quality include total phosphorus, chlorophyll-a, and Secchi transparency.
Phosphorus is the nutrient that most often stimulates excessive growth of aquatic plants and causes premature lake aging. By measuring phosphorus levels, it is possible to gauge the overall health of a lake. Lakes with a phosphorus concentration of 20 parts per billion or greater are considered to be eutrophic or nutrient-enriched.
Chlorophyll-a is a pigment that imparts the green color to plants and algae. A rough estimate of the quantity of algae present in the water column can be made by measuring the amount of chlorophyll-a in the water column. A chlorophyll-a concentration greater than 6 parts per billion is considered characteristic of a eutrophic condition.
A Secchi disk is a round, black and white, 8-inch disk that is used to estimate water clarity. Eutrophic lakes have a Secchi transparency of less than 7.5 feet. Generally, it has been found that plants can grow to a depth of about twice the Secchi disk transparency.
For over 20 years, samples have been collected from the surface to bottom from multiple locations in Spring Lake. Recent sampling indicates Spring Lake is eutrophic. The lake has phosphorus levels well above the eutrophic threshold, poor Secchi transparency, and chlorophyll numbers indicative of abundant algae growth. An alum treatment of Spring Lake conducted in 2005 improved water quality for many years, but recent sampling suggests the effectiveness of the alum treatment is beginning to decline. Deep water phosphorus levels are extremely high, indicating internal phosphorus release is occurring in Spring Lake. Recent and historical water quality data for Spring Lake are summarized below.
To review a summary of data collected from Spring Lake in 2022, click here
Spring Lake water quality summary statistics: 1999-2022
Spring Lake Total Phosphorus: 1999-2022
Spring Lake Chlorophyll-a: 1999-2022
Spring Lake Secchi Transparency: 1999-2022
Relatively deep lakes such as Spring Lake undergo annual cycles of turnover and stratification.
In Spring Lake, the release of phosphorus from deep water sediments is a major cause of nuisance algae growth in the lake.