The Ausable River Association (AsRA) and Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) have released the 2017 Water Quality Report for Mirror Lake.
The lake serves as a focal point for the Village of Lake Placid. For the past three years, AsRA and AWI have been studying the water quality of Mirror Lake with a goal to provide science data for decision making.
Road salt pollution continues as the primary concern for the health of the lake. The report provides details regarding road salt sources, their direct impacts, and options for reductions. It concludes that continued monitoring and focused efforts by the local and state government, the community, and stakeholders are important to identifying and measuring the effects of potential solutions.
The report documents a buildup of road salt in the deep water of the lake over the winter months. As a result, the water at the bottom of the lake is denser than that at the surface during the period of spring turnover, inhibiting the complete mixing of the lake. The disruption of this fundamental physical process in the lake threatens many forms of aquatic life, including its population of lake trout.
AsRA is working with the town, village, and other stakeholders to assess road salt application rates, but that work is contingent on funding to implement salt application monitoring programs. The report documents the importance of parking lot and sidewalk salt application within the watershed, highlighting the need for the issue to be addressed at more than just the municipal level.
A full copy of the report can be found here.
Photo of Mirror Lake courtesy Ausable River Association.