Owasco Lake Water Quality
From the Report
Water Quality Study of the Finger Lakes
(Callinan, NYSDEC, 2002)
The following information has been extracted from a detailed technical report on Finger Lakes water quality. Links to the entire report and contact information for questions about this study are included on this page.
Owasco Lake is best characterized as mesotrophic with respect to all three trophic indicators (chlorophyll, phosphorus, clarity). The lake has shown a moderate decline in primary productivity over the past 2-3 decades as demonstrated by the reduction in chlorophyll a levels from 5.5 ug/l in the early 1970s to 3.8 ug/l in the late 1990s. The other two trophic indicators have shown less significant changes, with water clarity levels declining only marginally, and total phosphorus levels remaining, essentially, constant. It should also be noted that monitoring data collected in the mid-1980s by the Upstate Freshwater Institute (UFI) showed phosphorus levels substantially lower than current levels, which might suggest a more substantial decline in water quality over the past couple of decades.
For additional information, see Water Quality Study of the Finger Lakes, 2002.