Oligotrophic dimictic lakes are threatened by shoreline development and its associated run-off (e.g., residential, commercial, agricultural, and roads), recreational overuse (e.g., powerboats, intensive fish stocking and removal), and habitat alteration in the adjacent landscape (e.g., logging, pollution run-off, and increased impervious surfaces within the watershed). In addition, alteration to the natural hydrology (e.g., impoundments, dredging) and reduction in water quality (e.g., siltation, trash, turbidity, septic/nutrient run-off) are threats to oligotrophic dimictic lakes. Many lakes are threatened by the spread of non-native invasive species, such as Eurasian milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) and zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha). Atmospheric deposition of pollutants (e.g., acid rain and heavy metals) is a particular threat to some oligotrophic dimictic lakes, especially in the Adirondack Mountains (Jenkins et al. 2005). Although most lakes are recovering from historical DDT impacts, there is the potential threat that the proposed use of herbicides to control exotic plants (e.g., SONAR) may affect non-target native species.
|Conservation Strategies and Management Practices||
Where practical, establish and maintain a lakeshore buffer to reduce storm-water, pollution, and nutrient run-off, while simultaneously capturing sediments before they reach the lake. Buffer width should take into account the erodibility of the surrounding soils, slope steepness, and current land use. If possible, minimize the number and size of impervious surfaces in the surrounding landscape. Avoid habitat alteration within the lake and surrounding landscape. For example, roads should not be routed through the lakeshore buffer area. If a lake must be crossed, then bridges and boardwalks are preferred over filling and culverts. Restore lakes that have been affected by unnatural disturbance (e.g., remove obsolete impoundments and ditches in order to restore the natural hydrology). Prevent the spread of invasive exotic species into the lake through appropriate direct management, and by minimizing potential dispersal corridors.
|Development and Mitigation Considerations||
When considering road construction and other development activities, minimize actions that will change what water carries and how water travels to this lake community, both on the surface and underground. Water traveling over-the-ground as run-off usually carries an abundance of silt, clay, and other particulates during (and often after) a construction project. While still suspended in the water, these particulates make it difficult for aquatic animals to find food; after settling to the bottom of the lake, these particulates bury small plants and animals and alter the natural functions of the community in many other ways. Thus, road construction and development activities near this lake type should strive to minimize particulate-laden run-off into this community. Water traveling on the ground or seeping through the ground also carries dissolved minerals and chemicals. Road salt, for example, is becoming an increasing problem both to natural communities and as a contaminant in household wells. Fertilizers, detergents, and other chemicals that increase the nutrient levels in lakes cause algae blooms and eventually an oxygen-depleted environment where few animals can live. Herbicides and pesticides often travel far from where they are applied and have lasting effects on the quality of the natural community. So, road construction and other development activities should strive to consider: 1. how water moves through the ground, 2. the types of dissolved substances these development activities may release, and 3. how to minimize the potential for these dissolved substances to reach this natural community.
Survey for occurrences statewide to advance documentation and classification of oligotrophic dimictic lakes. A statewide review of oligotrophic dimictic lakes is desirable. Continue searching for large lakes in good condition (A- to AB-ranked). Review and incorporate data on occurrences gathered by partner organizations (e.g., Adirondack Lakes Survey Corporation).
There is a need to research the composition of oligotrophic dimictic lakes statewide in order to characterize variations. Continued research is needed on the impacts that atmospheric deposition has on this community.