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Guest Column: What does it all mean?

You read one week in The Dispatch that ODNR has posted Buckeye Lake’s beaches as a result of high toxic algae bloom numbers. The following week, although not reported in the paper, the numbers are back to acceptable levels.

For the past eight years, Buckeye Lake for Tomorrow [BLT] has been studying and testing the conditions in the lake and the surrounding watershed, culminating in a formal written Nutrient Reduction Plan as part of a large OEPA grant in partnership with ODNR and the Fairfield Soil and Water Conservation District. [ implementation-plan/]

As a result of this work, several changes have already been made and more are anticipated, all in an effort to improve the overall quality of the water found in Buckeye Lake and its watershed.

The Canada Goose population has reached levels that far exceed the capacity of our lake to accommodate their needs. The annual hunting season is being extended to include a period in September that will also permit higher daily limits for the hunters. Volunteers, working with ODNR personnel are addling goose eggs each spring in an attempt to reduce the overall number of new geese each year. Other techniques are also being considered to reduce the number of geese on the lake and the surrounding watershed.

Our annual Carp Fest has generated a lot of interest in removing this rough fish from the lake and the new $100 cash award on 49 tagged fish should increase carp fishing. Please remove ALL carp caught. This effort is just one more way to improve the overall water quality.

We can’t thank our farm neighbors enough for the changes that they are making in their operations. Improvement in cultivation methods, variable rate fertilization techniques and increased usage of cover crops are some of the changes that will further improve the non-point source nutrients that enter the lake.

Plans to add two new dredge units to the lake next year and a change in dredging practices will make possible the removal of five times the amount of sediment being removed by the current dredging operation.

We’re back to our original point – What does it all mean? Our lake is no different than most bodies of water world-wide. Current technology and methods of measurement indicate an increase in the production of harmful algal blooms. Studies of Buckeye Lake done in 1930 and again in 1973 show results that were similar to what we are discovering in our current data. Experts who have visited our lake concur with our findings and agree with our strategy to improve the water quality.

We can all make a difference and it does not require a lot of effort from any of us. Use nophosphorus products on your lawn and landscape, catch and keep the carp, don’t feed the geese, keep grass and leaves out of the lake and pick up after your pets. If it sounds like we are repeating ourselves, we are. YOU Can Help – Improving Buckeye Lake One Drop at a Time.

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