This month’s SRA member meeting, to be held Thursday May 5, 2016 in the SRA office at the Sackville Heights Community Center at 45 Connolly Road in Middle Sackville at 7pm, our guest speaker will be Bob Rutherford.
Bob Rutherford is an aquatic habitat biologist with over 40 years’ experience in freshwater and coastal aquatic habitat assessment and restoration. He is currently president of Thaumas Environmental Consultants Ltd and an Aquatic Habitat Restoration Biologist with the Nova Scotia Salmon Association’s NSLC Adopt-a-Stream Program.
Talk- Oathill Lake Restoration
Studies by the Oathill Lake Conservation Society (OLCS) over the past 5 years and extensive data collection over the past decades by various organizations has shown a trend toward increased eutrophication and the serious loss of oxygen over the majority of the lake’s bottom waters. Some have termed this lake as the “most eutrophic (over fed) lake in Nova Scotia”. The over feeding of the lake is due to past land use activities and primarily residential development that now covers the entire watershed.
The goal is to return the lake to an oligotrophic or low mesotrophic level of productivity with all the associated plant, fish and wildlife that goes with that healthier lake quality.
Basically restore it to a healthy lake.
In order to improve the oxygen level and return the phosphorous feeding cycle to the new lower and healthier state the OLCS, in partnership with NSLC AAS, have purchased and installed an Aquago solar powered water circulator.
The Aquago was installed at the end of October 2014 it was removed for the winter due to safety reasons but ran from spring to late fall in 2015 and is back in the lake now. Monitoring has shown an increase in oxygen levels at the bottom of the lake and residents have seen the lake water as “cleaner than it has been in decades.”
Over the next 3 to 4 years of operation the Aquago is expected to bring the lake back into a more natural balance that it can sustain on its’ own.
Community education and awareness is key to lowering the nutrient input and we are also in the process of establishing a built wetland to capture nutrients entering form one of the storm sewer lines.