Research and monitoring work on Mirror Lake over the past two and half years by the Ausable River Association has yielded some alarming results.
Association Science and Stewardship Director, Dr. Brendan Wiltse, recently presented his research work at the Mirror Lake Water Quality Workshop. Here are a few key findings he presented:
- Mirror Lake’s surface water chloride concentration is about 40 mg/L. This puts it in the 97th percentile for lakes studied by the Adirondack Watershed Institute; that’s 160-times higher than the median concentration for Adirondack lakes not impacted by road salt.
- Chloride accumulates at the bottom of Mirror Lake. Concentrations can be as high as 120 mg/L.
- The build up of chloride at the lake bottom is contributing the the lack of spring turnover.
- The lack of spring turnover is resulting in lower dissolved oxygen concentrations in the deeper waters during the spring, summer, and fall. This is potentially a threat to cold water fish and other benthic organisms.
- Mirror Lake is likely the most impacted lake in the Adirondacks from road salt.
To watch Brendan’s talk on the impact of road salt on Mirror Lake, click here.