Northeastern Section - 53rd Annual Meeting - 2018

Paper No. 17-3
Presentation Time: 2:10 PM


KELTING, Daniel L.1, LAXSON, Corey L.1 and MIDDLETON, Guy2, (1)Adirondack Watershed Institute, Paul Smith's College, PO Box 265, Paul Smiths, NY 12970, (2)Upper Saranac Foundation, Saranac Lake, NY 12983

The Upper Saranac Lake (USL) monitoring program started in 1989 and represents one of the longest continuous water quality datasets in the Adirondack region. The purposes of this program are to (1) assess the health of USL with respect to its designated uses, (2) identify likely sources of impairments to these uses when impairments are identified, and (3) provide reliable information to support lake management. Upper Saranac Lake is 2,167 hectares in surface area and is the sixth largest lake in the Adirondack Park. Fifty percent of the shoreline is privately owned and occupied by seasonal and permanent homes, and the remaining shoreline is undeveloped public forest land. The lake is located within a 20,042 hectare watershed dominated by forest cover. Two state highways pass through the watershed and there are two state campgrounds and a fish hatchery within the watershed. The monitoring program has historically relied on periodic sampling of epilimnion and hypolimnion waters during the ice-free period, with samples analyzed for eutrophication, acidification, and salinization indicators. This sampling was combined with profiling water temperature and oxygen concentrations to understand thermal stratification, oxygen dynamics, internal nutrient loading, and habitat suitability for fish. Though this sampling program has provided important insights into water quality of Upper Saranac Lake, it only provides 8 to 10 sampling dates per year, and the data is not available to the lake community for several months after collection. In May 2017 we installed a YSI vertical profiler in the South Basin of USL to complement the monitoring program and to enhance our understanding of in-lake processes. The profiler is equipped with a meteorological station and a winch-mounted YSI EXO2 sonde. The sonde collects surface water data every hour and conducts a profile every six hours at 1 meter depth intervals to the maximum lake depth (26 meters). All data is collected remotely via a cellular modem with highlights (including an image) displayed on webpages dedicated to the profiler. The profiler was removed in mid-November and will be reinstalled in April 2018. We plan to maintain the profiler in perpetuity and are interested in sharing data and collaborating with others on regional efforts to understand human impacts on lakes.