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Water-quality characteristics of selected lakes and reservoirs in Colorado

January 1, 1994

During the summers and autumns of 1973, 1974, and 1975, water-quality data were collected and compiled for 56 lakes and reservoirs in Colorado. The lakes and reservoirs sampled range from large reservoirs in the eastern part of the State to smaller natural lakes in the higher western parts of the Colorado Plateaus. The smallest body of water sampled was Anderson Reservoir No. 1 with a surface area of 47 acres in Mesa County, and the largest was Najajo Reservoir with a surface area of 15,600 acres in Archuleta County. The report includes physical, chemical, and biological water-quality data collected as a part of each lake or reservoir reconnaissance. Also included are data on drainage area, water-surface altitude, surface area,depth, storage capacity, and principal uses, obtained from various governmental agencies or the owner or regulating agency of each lake or reservoir. A subjective evaluation of the trophic (enrichment) state is presented based on nutrient and phytoplankton concentrations and the dissolved-oxygen distribution. In addition, a numerical trophic-state index, based on Secchi-disk transparency (a measure of light penetration) is reported, to show trophic comparisons between lakes and reservoirs. (USGS)