Delavan Lake: Hydrology, water quality, and biology

Science Center Objects

Eutrophication of Delavan Lake accelerated from the 1940s to 1980s, resulting in a hypereutrophic lake with severe blue-green algae blooms. Extensive rehabilitation efforts were implemented to improve water quality. The USGS measured nutrients, suspended sediment, water quality, and plankton populations to quantify the effectiveness of rehabilitation efforts and guide future management decisions.

Map showing locations of the study area and the monitoring sites on Jackson Creek

Data collection sites in Delevan Lake Inlet and the watershed.

Problem

Eutrophication of Delavan Lake accelerated from the 1940s to 1980s, resulting in a hypereutrophic lake with severe blue-green algae blooms. Extensive rehabilitation efforts were implemented from 1990–1993 to improve the lake’s water quality. Monitoring of the lake and nutrient and sediment loads to the lake is continuing to determine the effectiveness of rehabilitation efforts and guide future management decisions.

Objectives

The overall objectives of the project are to: (1) quantify the effectiveness of rehabilitation efforts by measuring nutrient and suspended sediment loads at Jackson Creek at Mound Road (wetland outlet) and Delavan Lake Inlet at Highway 50t, and (2) measure water quality and plankton populations in the lake.

Approach

Nutrients, suspended sediments, and streamflow are monitored at Mound Road, and at Highway 50. Nutrient concentrations, dissolved oxygen, water temperature, pH, specific conductance, and planktonic populations are monitored within the lake.

Monitoring and Data

Delavan Lake Monitoring Map