Paper No. 27
A five-year comparative limnological study of the easternmost eight of the eleven Finger Lakes revealed that, Honeoye has consistently been an anomaly. Annual mean chlorophyll-a, dissolved phosphate, total phosphate, nitrate, dissolved silica, major ions, plankton enumerations, secchi disk depths and CTD casts for temperature, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, pH, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) fluorescence, turbidity, reveal disparate results compared to the more eastern Finger Lakes (Canandaigua, Keuka, Seneca, Cayuga, Owasco, Skaneateles, and Otisco). In 2009 for example, chlorophyll-a concentrations were the 4th
largest in the surface water and largest in the bottom water, dissolved phosphate concentrations were the largest in the surface water and 3rd
largest in the bottom water, total phosphate concentrations were the largest in the surface and bottom waters, nitrates were the lowest in the surface and bottom waters, the lake is less saline, the plankton communities are most diverse (especially the zooplankton communities), CTD casts typically reveal well mixed parameters with water depth, and the lake typically scores the worse or near the worst in overall water quality ranking compared to the other Finger Lakes in the survey.
Hypotheses to explain the variability in water quality indicate inconsistencies as well. Honeoye’s water quality does not fit correlations with agricultural land use and degree of water quality protection as revealed by the other watersheds in the Finger Lakes region either. This project will investigate previously published and other physical, geological, chemical, biological, geographical, political, and other factors that may explain its anomalous behavior. Factors include: Honeoye’s small volume, shallow depth, bedrock, land use activities, degree of properties serviced by sewers vs. septic systems, population demographics, internal loading for phosphates, nitrate limitations to algal growth, low calcium concentrations, alum treatments, reputation for large fish, and other factors.