The water quality implications of artificially fertilizing a large desert reservoir for fisheries enhancement

P. D. Vaux, L. J. Paulson, R. P. Axler, S. Leavitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Multiple use management of aquatic systems frequently involves conflicting demands from the various user groups. A 4-year program designed to evaluate large-scale artificial fertilization as a potential management tool for enhancing the forage and game fish populations of Lake Mead, a large Colorado River reservoir, generated considerable attention from both on-lake and downstream water users. An extensive water-quality monitoring program, undertaken as part of the fertilization experiment, demonstrated that the nutrient additions did not produce significant negative impacts on Lake Mead water quality from either a public health (that is, drinking water) or environmental perspective. One set of parameters, for example, hypolimnetic oxygen depletion and the relative abundance of blue-green algae, exhibited no consistent response to the fertilizer. A second group of parameters did respond to fertilizer addition, but changes were both moderate and relatively short-term. Examples in this group include chlorophyll, threshold odor number, and trihalomethane formation potentials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-200
Number of pages12
JournalWater Environment Research
Volume67
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995

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