Scientists release 2010 State of the Lake Report |

Scientists release 2010 State of the Lake Report

Matthew Renda

LAKE TAHOE – The 2007 Angora Fire has had no significant impact on Lake Tahoe’s famed clarity, experimental methods to control invasive clams have worked effectively, pollutant phosphorus was at its lowest levels in 2009 in 29 years and free-floating algae in the lake have remained constant since 1996, according to the most recent State of the Lake Report.

The University of California, Davis, released its 2010 State of the Lake Report which compiles all the data derived from diverse research projects conducted in 2009 and places it in the context of the long-term scientific record.

“Overall, we remain cautiously optimistic,” said John Reuter, associate director of the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center.

Earlier this month, scientists reported a slight decline of 1.5 feet in lake clarity from 2008 to 2009.

The rate of decline in Lake Tahoe’s clarity since 2000 was less that that seen in past decades, according to Geoffrey Schladow, director of TERC.

“This report is an impartial, annual accounting of many key variables of lake change,” said Schladow. “It helps us all recognize the differences between natural variability and long-term change, and how our efforts toward the restoration of Lake Tahoe are progressing.”

Despite the good news, Reuter cautioned the lake and the surrounding ecology is still in peril.

“(Lake Tahoe’s ecology) does have the ability to improve, provided that pollution control is achieved,” he said.

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