Wednesday, October 22, 2014

World Water Monitoring Challenge in Northern Lakes

Boat launch at High Cliff State Park on Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin. 
I have had the World Water Monitoring Kit for a few weeks now and have collected water samples from my local harbor in Chicago and three lakes in Wisconsin including a very small (Clear) and very large lake (Superior). The activity is fun and gives me the opportunity to talk about the local water and how temperature, turbidity, pH, and dissolved oxygen affect water quality. I keep my data in the kit's notebook and transfer it to the World Water Monitoring Challenge database and a spreadsheet that I keep. In general, the northern lakes are a little more acidic and less turbid than our local harbor on Lake Michigan in Chicago (see Chart).

Chart 1: World Water Monitoring Challenge Data Collection

The Lakes

Clear Lake in Hayward Wisconsin

Clear Lake near Hayward, Wisconsin. 
Clear Lake is part of the Spider Lake chain of lakes near Hayward in northern Wisconsin. In the late 19th century, Hayward was a lumber area where camps of lumberjacks lived and worked at cutting and removing trees from the forest. Once the best trees were cut, which took only about a decade, the land was sold to immigrants as farmland, abandoned (some of which was transformed into the Chequamegon National Forest), or transformed into vacation resorts and homes for urban dwellers. Today, Clear Lake has a couple dozen personal dwellings, a golf course, and a boys camp on its shore. 
A cut area where previously a forest stood. Photo at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center in Ashland, Wisconsin. 

Clear Lake is a small shallow lake near Hayward Wisconsin. A water sample was taken close to shore near the deepest part of the lake—about 6 meters. 

Lake Superior at Bayfield, WI

Sunrise over Madeline Island from the Dalrymple Campground in
Bayfield, Wisconsin. 
Dalrymple Park Campground is operated by the city of Bayfield, Winsconsin and located just north of the city. Campsites are available for rustic packing in or plugging in recreational vehicles. All sites are near Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands.
Dalrymple Campground, Bayfield Wisconsin is on Lake Superior with a view of Madeline Island.
A water sample was taken from the shore of the campground.

Lake Winnebago at High Cliff State Park in Wisconsin

The cliff above Lake Winnebago shows a crevice
a few meters from its face. 
High Cliff State Park was created from an abandoned lime kiln that had been in operation from the 19th century to its closing in 1956. High Cliff (a.k.a., Clifton) was named after the limestone cliff, a prominent feature in the northwest corner of Lake Winnebago. The park features camping, hiking, swimming and other water sports including a marina. 

The marina at High Cliff State Park is on Lake Winnebago, which is part of the Fox River watershed and home to ancient sturgeon. A water sample was taken from the end of the boat launch ramp. 

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