WLPP Water Quality Monitoring Program
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The WLPP, in cooperation with the Lake Partner Program of the Ministry of the Environment and Conservation and Parks, will complete a significant water sampling program in 2019. Water samples will be taken and physical measurements made at nine locations. Total phosphorous, calcium, dissolved organic carbon, sulphate and chloride will be measured once a month and every month during the spring, summer and fall. Secchi depth and temperature readings will also be taken. We will also be measuring specific conductivity in all parts of the lake and feeder streams and focusing this year on Lowney and Darling Round Lakes. This initiative will give us information on the hydraulics (water flows) in White Lake and also help explain some of the trends observed and reported in our previous Water Quality Monitoring Program Reports.

This year's  work will build on the research done since 2014, and will continue to determine the year to year trends in phosphorous concentrations throughout the lake. We will also gain important information on the relative sources of phosphorous including contributions from sediments. Of particular interest is the monitoring of White Lake for changes in chemistry and water clarity resulting from the presence of zebra mussels. The significant effects of zebra mussels were first noted in 2016 and it is expected that changes will continue to occur for the next several years.

A continuing part of our program is a collaboration with Professor Vermaire from Carleton University. A graduate student under the direction of Professor Vermaire will complete a project studying the sediments of the lake. This student is in the process of completing a paleolimnological study of sediments taken from the deepest point of the lake. This will provide us with a recent history of nutrient loading in White Lake. We will also continue to monitor any changes in the amount (volume) of aquatic plants in the lake and to track changes which could be related to human activity, climate change and the presence of zebra mussels.

Also, we will be taking accurate depth measurements  to monitor lake levels throughout the ice-free season. As part of our 'algae-watch' initiative, we will be looking for algal blooms and the presence of significant blue-green algae populations in the lake which could result in high concentrations of toxins in lake water, which is an important public health issue. We are also continuing to observe and measure changes in zebra mussel populations as well as relative populations of phytoplankton.
We are also starting a cormorant count throughout the ice-free season so that we can track population levels over time.