WINONA LAKE — Beneath the Surface, an annual report detailing changes in Kosciusko County’s major lakes, is now available to the public.
This report, prepared by scientists at the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams, compares and contrasts data collected during the summer of 2022 to the previous two years.
The Lilly Center research team samples 14 lakes and seven public swimming beaches every week from the beginning of June through the middle of August. Since 2014, the Lilly Center has also studied 12 major streams surrounding six of these lakes. Stream sampling occurs year-round and is an ongoing project.
Beneath the Surface helps Kosciusko County residents understand this data and use it to make the best decisions for their local lakes and their watersheds. That is what this report does: investigate and clarify the complex relationships between land, water and living organisms.
“Lake lovers look forward to Beneath the Surface every year,” says Dr. Nate Bosch, Lilly Center director. “It’s encouraging to see our community care deeply for their lakes and streams and take ownership of these incredible resources to make them clean, healthy, safe and beautiful.”
During the summer, each location is tested for microcystin, a blue-green algae toxin. Microcystin can pose a serious health threat to pets and humans alike.
“One of the big questions we’re trying to answer is: what triggers blooms of blue-green algae?” explains Matt Burlingame, assistant director of research. “Reviewing several years of data helps us identify trends and factors that drive microcystin production. Understanding these can help keep our community safe.”
Due to the Lilly Center’s work, Kosciusko County’s lakes are among the best-studied lakes in Indiana. This library of valuable data shows patterns and trends in the health of our lake, which in turn reveal specific management steps.
Beneath the Surface compiles this data and the resulting management steps into an easy-to-read format. Its straightforward approach is suitable for readers of all backgrounds.
Beneath the Surface is available online at lakes.grace.edu/bts