Last season Phyllis Laine, Richard Roeper, Intern Kelsey Mills, Intern Meagan Walters, Barry Lishawa, and I (Len Klein) collected samples for chemical analysis and measured physical parameters on Long, Mickey, and Ruth Lakes. While we found some year-to-year variation in several parameters, long-term trends for most parameters appear to be stable. We found no significant algae blooms on the lakes.
Phosphorus levels in the lakes are always a concern. High levels of Phosphorus in the water can cause algae blooms and promote the growth of aquatic plants. We recommend eliminating fertilizer use near the lakes, establishing native vegetative shoreline buffers to catch runoff, and proper septic system upkeep. These are all critical factors in reducing the eutrophication of the lakes, which willhelp preserve the health of the lake ecosystems, our property values, and recreational use. Some Phosphorus is already in the sediment and is likely permanently buried; but some can be recycled back into the water column. We will be checking bottom sediment Phosphorus levels this summer to determine if this has occurred since they were last measured in 2014.
If you fish in Long Lake, you might be interested to know that Long Lake keeps some dissolved oxygen in the bottom waters through early summer. However, by midsummer Long Lake is stratified, and the bottom water is devoid of oxygen. Most of Mickey Lake and all of Ruth are too shallow to become stratified.
Calcium levels in Long and Mickey remain at levels that Zebra Mussels have been able to colonize in a laboratory setting. Zebra Mussels have been observed in both lakes. The Calcium level in Ruth Lake is not near the level where Zebra Mussels are likely to become a threat.
After assisting in water quality monitoring for many years, Barry Lishawa has decided to retire. We will miss his presence and expertise.
ZEBRA MUSSEL UPDATE
In the last LLA Newsletter from the spring of 2021, we provided an article regarding the alarming emergence of Zebra Mussels in Long Lake. Before 2020, we had very few findings of this invasive species. That year after a few discoveries, we asked that all riparians on the Lake be on the lookout for Zebra Mussels in 2021 and report any occurrences during the summer. The good news is that many riparians responded and provided approximately 25 findings, many with photos that supplied dates and locations. The bad news is that we had about 25 findings, indicating we have a growing population. Your reports came from all areas of the Lake and came in throughout the summer, starting in mid-May and ended late September during dock removal. Most reports had small volumes of only 2-3 zebra mussels, but your photos revealed them to be healthy in size, 1/2-1 inch in length. There was one report of possibly over 100 in a colony around a concrete block that had been in the water for over a year.
So, given the fact that there is no magic remedy for eradicating Zebra Mussels, what can we do? The LLA requests that you continue the excellent work from a year ago. As you come across them, cleanly remove them from their attachment and destroy them on dry land. Do not leave any part of the mussel body in the water. Report the date and location to the LLA board. Contact Rick Dahlstrom either through email or by text at 248-568-4263. PLEASE educate friends, relatives, and renters who may be bringing boats onto the Lake to wash their boats and clean out ballast or bilge tanks before launching. Wake boats with large ballasts can be particularly harmful as an unsuspecting carrier.
This will be our second year of careful monitoring, and your cooperation is greatly appreciated. We hope to gain better clarity on the level of Zebra Mussel infestation, and your reports will be the key to that! Thank you for all that you do to maintain the high quality of Long Lake