Core Sediment Analysis
The ‘Core Sediment Analysis’ explains that decaying organic material eroded from the shoreline is the cause of the Lake becoming ‘impaired’ for aquatic life. This condition, termed anoxia or low dissolved oxygen (O2), stimulates plant growth and, if unchecked, can lead to algae and cyanobacteria blooms. It’s the reason the Lake has less game fish, more aquatic plants and ‘muck’ than in the past. While we can’t reverse what’s happened, we can slow or stop these damaging changes.
Decaying organic material consumes O2 and generates carbon dioxide (CO2) which promotes plant growth. As more plants decay, more O2 is used leading to anoxia. Game fish can’t live in this low O2 environment. Conversely, a high CO2 environment benefits plant growth which, as noted above, can lead to toxic and nontoxic blooms.
The lake’s water level has been raised by damming for 200 years. According to a DOT study, Spofford Lake’s summer water level is 4 feet higher than the lake’s natural water level. Higher water has eroded the shoreline, forming layers of decaying, organic rich sediment. In fact, the Core Sediment Analysis shows that “after…1980 the amount of organic material reaching the lake bottom exceeds that of any prior time period;”
The Report's conclusions are given on pages 15 & 16. Please take a minute to review them. The underlying science for these conclusions is given, in some detail, on the preceding pages.