(Video from WSBT)
SYRACUSE — Research on Lake Wawasee, by students and Dr. Nate Bosch, director, at the Center of Lake & Streams at Grace College, could make history and their findings revolutionary.
On July 14, WSBT reporter Suzanne Spencer spoke with students and Bosch regarding the research and its importance.
For the last six years the center has been researching Lake Wawasee, the state’s largest natural lake, and reportedly one of the clearest lakes in the county. Among the weekly water samples, to check the health of the lake, is a check on the nutrients entering the lake. These nutrients feed algae and weeds, growing potential toxins which are harmful to pets and animals.
Blue green algae produces some of these harmful toxins and the staff at the center is trying to learn what causes the harmful toxins to be released and when it is not.
During the research, students are taking weekly water samples from the warm top layer and the cold lower layer and imputing the data. He stated 90 percent of the algae found on the lake is the blue green algae, an unwanted algae. Documentation Bosch has received from past studies indicate in 1912 there was one specie of blue green algae. In 1954 that number raised to 14. Now there are 30 different species of blue green algae.
Bosch said there are hints as to a possible correlation of what is causing the toxins. This could be revolutionary. Then the prediction can be made when the blue green algae will release toxins and ability to tweak the lake into tricking the algae from producing the toxins. Bosch stated it is known blue green algae grows on nutrients, but there are other things that are unknown.
The study helps the center understand the lake and how it works. Once the results are completed the findings can be turned over to managers and elected officials to make decisions how best to implement the center’s recommendation.
Blue green algae is currently not a threat, but the study is to reduce that threat in the future.