Environmental Committee Report Pine Canyon Lake Association
By Rebecca Zwepink and Mike Carnes
Summary of Results: Full report is available on line at pinecanyonlake.com (Committee/Environment/WaterQualityResults) To monitor and protect the water quality of the lake the Pine Canyon Lake Association (PCLA) requested monitoring of basic water quality parameters in 2014 through 2021. Results for the 2021 season are reported here. The lake was visited on 8/31/21. Testing included analysis of lake water samples for E-coli bacteria as an indicator of possible human or animal waste contamination. Sampling of lake waters also included analysis for total phosphorus and Secchi depth (water clarity). Samples for these parameters were collected to score Pine Canyon Lake in Carlson’s Trophic State Index, providing a basic numerical measure of lake health (See figure 2 below for sampling locations). Chlorophyl “a” sampling was not performed in 2021 as it was in previous seasons. With the amount of data collected in previous years we can now score Pine Canyon Lake adequately in Carlson’s index without measuring all three scoring parameters.
All three of the E-coli samples were collected from the lake on 8/31/21. All results were well below an Indiana State Standard of 235 MPN, showing a clean bill of health from the stand point ofE-colibacteria.The total phosphorus result, also collected on 8/31/21 was .016 milligrams per liter...This concentration is representative of a lake with low nutrient enrichment and satisfactory water quality.
Satisfactory water clarity was also indicated by a Secchi disc measurement of 14feet collected on 8/31/21.Averaging the Carlson’s trophic Index scores for total phosphorus and Secchidepth produced an over all score average of 42 for 2021. This compares to 43 for 2020, 38 for 2019, 35 for 2018, 33 for 2017,and 39 in 2016....a lower score is desirable.
The 2021 score places the lake in the “mesotrophic” category, indicating the lake has experienced a moderate amount of nutrient enrichment. Lakes with this type of score generally support healthy ecosystems, moderately clear waters, and are user-friendly for most recreational purposes. The mean annual Carlson’s TSI scores produced in 2014 through 2021 respectively are 38, 36, 39, 33, 35, 38, 43 and 42. Scores higher than 40 place a lake in the “mesotrophic” category so Pine Canyon Lake lies close to the division between “oligotrophic” and “mesotrophic”.
Water quality data collected indicates that Pine Canyon Lake is highly likely to support the uses of the surrounding community from a water-quality standpoint. No significant sources of nutrient enrichmentorhumanor animal waste contamination were indicated in the data and the water quality at Pine Canyon Lake appears to be relatively stable.
As in 2020, water quality recommendations of this report are limited to maintaining annual monitoring. Over time, data collected could reveal trends that are relevant to lakeside property owners
Lake Water Level The Lake level has been steady over the past year. This is due directly to the Rainfall received. When we had low rainfall for several years, our lake level fell. Likewise, when we experienced high rainfall totals our lake level rose. Rain amounts for the past 11 years:
Fish and Weed Committee
Karl King has been creating a comprehensive Lake Management Plan. See this under separate cover. Also, a report, Pine Canyon Lake Association Fish and Weed Committee Findings and Recommendations for Control of Aquatic Invasive Plants, February 20, 2022, is available to view at https://www.pinecanyonlake.com/weed--fish-report-2-20-22.html or use button below.
No Walleyes were restocked this year. It has been 2 years since their initial introduction into Pine Canyon Lake. Walleyes should be restocked every other year and are needed to keep the Bass numbers in check or the Bass will decimate the bluegill, perch, and sunfish populations. However, according to the PCLA fish survey from 2019: “Stocking fish species that are not native to the lake (e.g. walleye, fathead minnows, golden shiners) is not recommended. Putting these non-native fish in to a lake can have unintended ecological consequences. However, stocking some largemouth bass over 14 inches long could be helpful in thinning out the more abundant sunfish species.”
The milfoil weeds were treated this past May with a new herbicide, Procella at the cost of $12,054.00 The committee carefully researched options and obtained 3 bids to help with the overabundance of this invasive weed. It’s been noted by several homeowners that the frog population is virtually non- existent.
• Phragmites Australis is again growing along the shoreline. These invasive weeds will quickly become dense and impenetrable while crowding out the native species. It is suggested that we have them spot treated to prevent a major and more expensive problem along our shoreline. This can be part of the broader Lake Management Plan. Environmental Conservation
PCL Covenant 13.a states, “No person shall erect, construct or maintain any pier or other structure, permanent or temporary, in the lake, on the lake or anywhere on the beach area.”
PCL Covenant, 13.b states, “No person shall engage or permit any other person to engage in hunting or trapping activities within the subdivision.” Please keep this in mind as you may find some of the wildlife not to your liking, but this does not permit you to hunt or trap within Pine Canyon.