Recent Submissions

  • Rock Bass Learn to Associate Food with a Visual Cue and Remember the Association when Food is Absent

    Wasson Halbrend, Sarah; Davidson Hile, Sarah; Haynes, James M.; Roosa, Brian R. (1/1/2006)
    We explored the foraging ability of rock bass (Ambloplites rupestris) by testing three hypotheses consistent with the predictions of optimal foraging theory: 1) fish can learn to associate food with a visual cue; 2) trained fish will go to a visual cue faster than untrained fish; and 3) over time, without the reinforcement of food, trained fish will exhibit a diminished response to a visual cue. Our results supported each hypothesis. During the first 96 h of testing, 88 to 100% of trained fish went to the visual cue first; 50% of the trained fish went to the visual cue first after 312 h. None of the untrained fish went to the visual cue first. Trained fish went to the visual cue significantly faster (11.0 cm sec-1 ) than untrained (1.6 cm sec-1 ) fish. There were no significant differences in velocity to the visual cue among the times tested for control fish (0.8 to 2.6 cm sec-1 ). However, velocities of experimental fish were significantly higher from 0 to 24 h (16.7 cm sec-1 ) than from 48 to 312 h (6.7 cm sec-1 ), suggesting that they began extinguishing their responses as the time since the last food reward associated with the cue increased. If rock bass use these abilities in their natural habitats, they likely improve their foraging efficiency and, thus, their overall fitness. (No actual Publication Date listed on Report)
  • Final Report: BUI Delisting Studies in the Buffalo River AOC, 2014-2015

    Haynes, James M.; Wellman, Sara T.; Haynes, James M.; Wellman, Sara T.; Marsocci, Anthony R. (5/16/2016)
    Only two mink were caught during 4,157 trap-days of effort in the BR AOC during the fall of 2014. This result led to changing the focus of the study to determining mink habitat suitability and analysis of BUI chemicals of concern in mink prey. According to the USFWS Habitat Suitability Index Model, habitat in the BR AOC is poorly suited for mink. On a scale of 0 to 1, the HSI for mink is 0.38. No amphibians were observed in riparian habitats along the Buffalo River in the AOC during ~300 h of searching for them in August, October & November 2014 and April & July 2015. During 35 minnow trap-days in mid-November 2015 and ~6 h of snorkeling to overturn rocks in June and November 2015 combined, far too few crayfish to create three 70 g samples for chemical analyses were caught in the BR AOC. Lower trophic level (bluegill, pumpkin seed and yellow perch) and upper trophic level (large mouth bass) fish samples were composited and analyzed for total mercury, total PCB and total TEQ (sum of PAH REP, PCB TEQ and CDD/CDF TEQ). Among the six composited prey samples analyzed (three each of lower and upper trophic level fish) for BUI chemicals of concern, only three of the 24 analyses (4 chemicals * 6 samples) exceeded dietary LOAELs for mink: two upper trophic level fish samples for total PCB (by 8.4 and 20.1%) and one upper trophic level fish sample for PCB TEQ (by 1.4%). Mink are one of the most sensitive mammals to the chemicals analyzed, especially to TEQ concentrations of CDD/CDF and co-planar PCB congeners which have similar toxic effects. If mink living in the BR AOC ate only large mouth bass from the Buffalo River (the upper trophic level fish analyzed in this study), on average they would exceed the dietary LOAEL for total PCB by 3.6% and not exceed the dietary LOAELs for any of total mercury, PAH REP and TEQ for CDD/CDF and PCB. Since mink eat prey from multiple trophic levels, many at lower levels than large mouth bass, it is very unlikely that mink and other predatory wildlife and birds in the BR AOC are adversely affected by any of the BUI chemicals of concern. We estimated the potential dietary exposures of BR AOC mink to BUI chemicals of concern for both “worst-case” (trophic level 3.7 diet) and “typical-case” (trophic level 2.4 diet) dietary scenarios. Neither diet exceeded any of the dietary LOAELS for BUI contaminants in mink. The trophic levels of mink trapped in our previous RE AOC study, and the two mink trapped in this study, suggest that mink in the BR AOC are consuming diets with trophic levels well below that of our estimated “worst-case” diet, putting them at no increased risk for either deformities or reproductive problems. For the “Bird or Animal Deformities or Reproductive Problems” BUI, it would be reasonable to consider the delisting criteria relating to mink to be unimpaired in BR AOC because using a worst case diet scenario for mink and the analytically determined mean concentrations of BUI contaminants in potential prey a hazard assessment showed that the dietary LOAELs for the contaminants of concern would not be exceeded for mink. Because mink are highly sensitive to mercury and CDD/CDF/PCB TEQ, it is unlikely that other piscivorous wildlife and birds in the BR AOC would be adversely affected by consuming a worst-case mink diet.
  • Irondequoit Bay Fish Stock Assessments 2005-2015

    Sanderson, Matthew J.; NYS DEC (9/13/2018)
    Warm water fisheries assessments using standard gangs of gill nets were conducted in Irondequoit Bay in September of 2005, 2010, and 2015. In addition, a nighttime electrofishing survey was conducted in June 2009. The surveys were conducted to 1) assess the fish community; 2) determine the contribution of stocked fingerlings to the walleye (Sander vitreus) population; 3) estimate population characteristics of walleye, northern pike (Esox lucius), yellow perch (Perca flavescens), and largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), 4) compare fish community structure to statewide surveys; and 5) guide the development of appropriate management recommendations. From 2005 to 2015 overall gill net catch per unit effort (CPUE) increased and species dominance shifted from yellow perch to white perch (Morone americana). Walleye CPUE doubled, but the portion of legal sized fish declined during this time period. The walleye population is mainly sustained by stocked fingerlings, despite migratory spawning runs in Irondequoit Creek that could be producing fry that potentially recruit to adults. Survival and recruitment of the stocked fingerlings is good, but may be declining. Mean total lengths (TL) are above New York State (NYS) averages at all ages, and growth rates show an increasing trend. Mean TL of all walleyes declined from 2005 to 2015 because younger, smaller individuals, absent from the 2005 sample, were sampled in 2015. Walleye condition is near established standards. Even with declining survival, the fishing quality for Irondequoit Bay walleyes should be very good for several years. Northern pike relative abundance declined from 2005 to 2015. Most northern pike sampled during the period were legal size. Adult pike, while fast growing, are in below average condition in Irondequoit Bay. Yellow perch relative abundance in Irondequoit Bay remained nearly constant from 2005 to 2015. Survival of the 2004 to 2009 yellow perch year classes is generally very good. Growth and condition of yellow perch is good to fair, but showing a stable to slightly increasing trend. Competition with other species, namely very abundant white perch, may be a factor that explains fair yellow perch growth and condition in Irondequoit Bay. Yellow perch fishing in Irondequoit Bay has been outstanding in recent years. Relative abundance of white perch increased fourfold, while mean total length and relative weight declined from 2005 to 2015. This suggests that intraspecific competition due to high white perch abundance and interspecific competition with abundant yellow perch may hamper growth of both species. Rock bass (Ambloplites rupestris) and bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) relative abundance in Irondequoit Bay appears to have been consistent, but low, from 2005 to 2015. Irondequoit Bay rock bass and bluegill exhibit good growth and are in good condition, which might be expected given the low abundance of these species. Largemouth bass relative abundance in Irondequoit Bay is average when compared to other New York State waters. The size quality is good, while growth and condition of largemouth bass is excellent in Irondequoit Bay. It is recommended that all current management actions be continued, walleye pond fingerlings be stocked every other year, the success of stocked walleye fingerlings be evaluated, and a fisheries management plan be developed for Irondequoit Bay.
  • Irondequoit Bay Monitoring Summary 2016-17

    Sansone, Andrew; Monroe County (2/23/2018)
    This is a brief summary of monitoring results for 2016 and 2017. The report focuses of phosphorus and chloride levels as well as hypolimnetic oxygen.
  • Segment Analysis Of Little Sandy Creek

    Makarewicz, Joseph C.; Lewis, Theodore W.; The College at Brockport (9/1/2004)
    Because Little Sandy Creek was the largest source of phosphorus to Sandy Pond, a recommendation of the Makarewicz et al. report (2002) was to initiate water quality studies in the Little Sandy Creek watershed to identify sources of phosphorus. To accomplish this task, the Soil and Water Conservation District of Oswego County contracted with the Water Quality Laboratory at SUNY Brockport to systematically identify, during baseline and hydrometeorological events, the sources of nutrients, soils and salts within the Little Sandy Creek. Point and non-point sources were identified through a process called stressed stream analysis or segment analysis (Makarewicz 1999). With this report, we provide evidence suggesting the location and the intensity of pollution sources to Sandy Pond within the Little Sandy Creek watershed.
  • Final Report: BUI Delisting Studies in the Rochester Embayment AOC, 2013-2014

    Haynes, James M.; Wellman, Sara T. (12/1/2015)
    Substantial evidence of live mink was observed along the shoreline of the Genesee River portion of the RE AOC, which supports delisting the “mink are present and are reproducing” criterion of the Degradation of Fish and Wildlife Populations and the Loss of Fish and Wildlife Habitat BUIs. According to the USFWS Habitat Suitability Index Model, habitat appears to be highly suitable (85%) for mink along the Genesee River shoreline of the RE AOC, which supports delisting of the Loss of Fish and Wildlife Habitat BUI.For total mercury chemical analysis: a. No amphibian, crayfish and lower trophic level fish samples exceeded the published dietary lowest observed adverse effect level (LOAEL) for mink. b. All upper trophic level fish samples exceeded the published dietary LOAEL for mink (500 ng/g), by 13% on average. For PAH, PCB and dioxin (CDD)/furan (CDF) chemical analyses: a. None of the 12 composited mink prey samples exceeded dietary LOAELs for total PCBs (960,000 pg/g) and TEQ for CDD/CDF (9.2 pg/g). b. Ten of the 12 samples did not exceed the dietary LOAEL for PAHs, co-planar PCBs, and CDD/CDF combined (9.2 pg/g). c. One upper trophic level fish sample exceeded the dietary LOAEL for PAHs by 147% because it contained ~100 times more PAHs (which accounted for 95% of total TEQ in that sample) than the other two samples. d. One lower trophic level fish sample exceeded the dietary LOAEL for PCB TEQ by 4% because it contained ~90 times more PCB 126 (which accounted for 93% of total TEQ in that sample) than the other two samples. Mink hazard assessment: a. Using the “highest exposure” mink diet found in published literature (92% from aquatic sources), and using mean concentrations of BUI contaminants found in 2 potential mink prey in the Genesee River portion of the RE AOC, the maximum dietary exposure of mink would be 81% of the LOAEL for total mercury, 23% of the LOAEL for total PCBs, and 69% of the LOAEL for total TEQ (PAHs + CDD/CDF + co-planar PCBs). This is the “worst case” diet scenario. b. Using the average of six mink diets reported in published literature (65% from aquatic sources) comparable to what mink would eat in the Genesee River portion of the RE AOC, and using mean concentrations of BUI contaminants found in potential mink prey in the study area, the dietary exposure of mink would be 48% of the LOAEL for total mercury, 13% of the LOAEL for total PCBs, and 40% of the LOAEL for total TEQ. This is the “likely” diet scenario. It would be reasonable to delist the Bird or Animal Deformities or Reproductive Problems BUI in the RE AOC because: a. Except for total mercury (13% above) and total TEQ (3.4% below; CDD/CDF, PAH and co-planar PCB TEQ combined) in upper trophic level fish, mean concentrations of BUI contaminants in the other three mink prey groups (crayfish, amphibians, lower trophic level fish) were far below dietary LOAELs for mink. b. Using a worst case diet (92% aquatic) for mink, and the analytically-determined mean concentrations of BUI contaminants in potential prey, a hazard assessment showed that the dietary LOAELs for total mercury, total PCBs, and total TEQ would not be exceeded for mink in the Genesee River portion of the RE AOC.
  • Irondequoit Bay Nutrient Levels and Trophic State

    Sansone, Andrew (3/1/2019)
    Long term trends show lower levels of phosphorus in the epilimnion for the past nine years. Determining the amount of phosphorus is important as high levels can result in excessive algae growth known as eutrophication. The successful effort to reduce the amount of wastewater entering the bay resulted in large phosphorus reductions. Watershed contributions from stormwater runoff as well as the loading from internal processes still have the potential to fuel eutrophication. In recent years the bay has met the long term goals for phosphorus concentration and has not experienced large algal blooms.
  • Slater Creek Stormwater Assessment and Action Plan

    Sansone, Andrew (9/30/2015)
    The Slater Creek Stormwater Assessment and Action Plan (SWAAP) summarizes the results of a detailed assessment of Slater Creek and presents recommendations for its protection, restoration and removal from the New York State Impaired Waterbodies List. This project was conducted with support from the Stormwater Coalition of Monroe County and the Monroe County Department of Environmental Services. This SWAAP will become a portion of a comprehensive, county-wide Stormwater Master Plan that assesses priority waterbodies in Monroe County in order to meet water quality and regulatory goals.
  • Final Report: BUI Delisting Studies in the Niagara River AOC, 2014-2015

    Haynes, James M.; Wellman, Sara T.; Haynes, James M.; Wellman, Sara T.; Marsocci, Anthony R. (9/26/2016)
    From 8 December 2013 to 6 April 2015, 24 mink were caught in the Niagara River AOC, 12 upriver and 12 downriver from Niagara Falls. Average concentrations of total mercury in mink brain and PAH REP in mink liver were 22 and 201 times lower, respectively, than their LOAELs for deformities or reproductive impairment. The average concentration of total PCB in mink liver was 1.15 times higher than the LOAEL for deformities or reproductive impairment, but two mink (one caught upriver and one downriver from Niagara Falls) had very high concentrations of both total PCB and total TEQ (mostly comprised of PCB TEQ). Average concentrations of PCB TEQ and CDD/CDF TEQ in mink liver were 2.9 times higher and 2.9 times lower, respectively, than their LOAELs for deformities or reproductive impairment. The average concentration of total TEQ (sum of PCB, CDD/CDF and PAH) in mink liver was 3.3 times higher than the LOAEL for deformities or reproductive impairment. Mink are one of the most sensitive mammals to CDD/CDF and co-planar PCB congeners, and 67% of the mink trapped in the NR AOC exceeded one or both of the published LOAELs for deformities or reproductive impairment for total PCB and total TEQ. Yet mink are reasonably abundant in suitable habitats in the AOC; thus they are either reproducing there or migrating in from adjacent areas with lower contaminant exposures. The most sensitive biomarker of mink health after exposure to total PCB or total TEQ is the presence of pre-cancerous tissues associated with the jawbone. Of the nine mink with the highest total PCB or total TEQ concentrations, two (22%) had the mildest form and one (11%) had the most severe form of this condition. All of the affected mink were captured in the lower river below Niagara Falls. For the “Bird or Animal Deformities or Reproductive Problems” BUI, in terms of mink health in the NR AOC, it appears that the time for delisting is not yet at hand.
  • Seasonal and Vertical Distribution, Food Web Dynamics and Contaminant Biomagnification of Cercopagis pengoi in Lake Ontario

    Makarewicz, Joseph C.; Damaske, Elizabeth; Laxson, Corey; MacIsaac, Hugh J.; Grigorovich, Ivan A.; The College at Brockport; University of Windsor (1/1/2004)
    During the early growth season of 1999 to 2001, Cercopagis abundance in offshore waters of Lake Ontario remained low (less than 30 individuals/m3). From late July, its abundance increased rapidly until it peaked during August. After first appearing in 1998, maximum offshore abundance in Lake Ontario decreased each year since 1999 (1999:1759/m3; 2000: 679/m3; 2001: 355/m3). Cercopagis appears not to migrate below the thermocline and is restricted to the epilimnion. A comparison of pre- and post-invasion average abundance of Daphnia retrocurva, Bosmina longirostris and Diacyclops thomasi suggests that Cercopagis is having a major effect on zooplankton composition and abundance in Lake Ontario. Abundance of all three species has decreased significantly in the offshore waters since the invasion of Cercopagis. Preliminary results also suggest that insertion of Cercopagis pengoi into the Lake Ontario food web will not elevate levels of hydrophobic organic compounds in salmonids through biomagnification.
  • Biological Survey of Yanty Creek Marsh at Hamlin Beach State Park

    Makarewicz, Joseph C.; Haynes, James M.; Dilcher, Ronald C.; Hunter, John C.; Norment, Christopher J.; Lewis, Theodore W.; The College at Brockport (8/1/2000)
    Four primary objectives were addressed in this study: 1 . To undertake a survey of the biological resources of Yanty Creek. 2 . To compare relative abundance and species richness of phytoplankton, zooplankton, benthic macroinvertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammtals and plants in Yanty Creek marsh and adjacent areas to literature on other embayments and wetlands in the Great Lakes region. 3. To predict the types of changes that may occur in the biological diversity of Yanty Creek marsh should the barrier beach be breached. 4. To write a final report that compiles new and existing information on the species and communities of Yanty Creek marsh and emphasizes elements of concern to the NYS Natural Heritage Program such as rare plants and c ommunities, significant plants and communities for animal species, plants and communities likely to be impacted by breaching of the barrier beach, and invasive exotic species. Comparisons to other sites on Lake Ontario and elsewhere were based only on existing literature or unpublished data collected by the principal investigators that was fragmentary and compromised by differences in sampling methodology and effort. Together, our survey of Yanty Creek marsh and the literature review were used to: 1 ) compare the marsh to other wetlands that have been studied, 2) assess its b iodiversity as high, moderate or low relative to other wetlands, 3) Evaluate threats posed by invasive exotic species and breaching of the barrier beach, and 4) make recommendations for managing the marsh.
  • Update of Soil and Nutrient Loss from Subwatersheds of Conesus Lake - 2001

    Makarewicz, Joseph C.; Lewis, Theodore W.; The College at Brockport (1/1/2002)
    The State of Conesus Lake: Watershed Characterization Report (2001) identified areas that required additional data to evaluate the current state of the Conesus Lake watershed. A comprehensive update of nutrient and soil loss from all of the major subwatersheds from a study undertaken in 1990-91 (Makarewicz et al. 1991) was listed as a high priority. This study was designed to estimate discrete losses of total phosphorus and total suspended solids in eighteen subwatersheds during the calendar period April to December under both baseline and event conditions. Results of this study will be the ability to assess the change in nutrient loss rates for subwatershed during the past ten years and the prioritization of subwatersheds for further identification of point and nonpoint sources of pollution and their eventual remediation. The skewing of sampling protocol toward events (equal number of baseline and event samples, which doesn’t represent the proportion of event and baseline days in a calendar year) was done with the recognition that many of these streams run intermittently and a majority of their loadings to Conesus Lake occur during event periods (Makarewicz et al. 1991, Makarewicz and Lewis 1999 and 2000). In addition, this study will build upon and strengthen the data gathered in the past two years on the smaller stream and rivulets. Macrophyte beds consisting mainly of Eurasian milfoil exist at or near many of the creek mouths within the littoral zone of Conesus Lake (Fig. 1)(Bosch et al. 2001). These creek-associated beds are of interest because their presence appears to be associated with creeks that lose a large amount of nutrients and soils from their subwatersheds. Some suspected subwatersheds are candidates for a USDA grant to evaluate management plans that may reduce nutrient and soil loss.
  • Nutrient Loading of Streams Entering Sodus Bay and Port Bay, NY

    Makarewicz, Joseph C.; Lewis, Theodore W.; Williams, Robert K.; The College at Brockport; Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District (10/1/1994)
    The Wayne County SWCD, in cooperation with the Center for Applied Aquatic Sciences and Aquaculture at SUNY Brockport, have successfully identified and prioritized several problems associated with water pollution on two watersheds. The initial goal was to identify any pollution problems that may have existed. The first objective was to identify and prioritize which nutrients were of concern. The second objective was to identify and prioritize which tributaries and their watersheds were the most impaired. All of these objectives have been achieved. Our current goal is to identify the sources of priority pollutants within the priority 2 tributaries and to implement corrective measures. Our final objective will be to develop a comprehensive pollution prevention plan. Each of these goals represents a common sense approach to improving water quality. By first identifying and prioritizing tributaries, pollutants and sources, the District is able to make decisions that will have the greatest impact on water quality and thus provide a high level of cost effectiveness. Previous monitoring work in Wayne County has allowed for the successful identification and prioritization of nutrients likely to be promoting eutrophication on local embayments, Monitoring strategies have also allowed for the identification and prioritization of the most polluted tributaries on Sodus and Port Bay. These accomplishments have provided a foundation for the next and current phase of the program; identifying the actual sources of pollution. Since Sodus Creek East and Wolcott Creek have been identified as the most impaired, it follows that correcting pollution problems on these tributaries shall result in the greatest improvement on water quality downstream. The method currently being used to identify sources of polluted runoff is referred to as Stressed Stream Analysis or segment analysis. This method involves the sectioning of a stream into segments and collecting water samples at noted locations along each segment. As multiple samples are collected, analyzed and reviewed, new sample sites are determined in such a way that allows for the isolation of significant nutrient inputs. These inputs can be field specific or in the case of point sources can be structure specific whether point or nonpoint. Major tributaries continue to be monitored. This will serve as a benchmark that can be used to assess future improvements implemented in the watersheds. Stressed Stream Analysis has not been fully completed on Glemnark and Wolcott Creeks. This report reflects the accomplishments to date utilizing Stressed Stream Analysis and the results of tributary monitoring. 3
  • Small Intermittent Rivulets versus Major Tributaries: The Loss of Soil and Nutrients from Selected Small Subwatersheds Compared to the Major Subwatersheds of Canandaigua Lake

    Makarewicz, Joseph C.; Lewis, Theodore W.; The College at Brockport (4/1/2002)
    The rivulets that drain small subwatersheds of Canandaigua Lake contributed significant amounts of total Kjeldahl nitrogen, nitrate, soil and phosphorus to Canandaigua Lake. The large amount of material being lost from these small subwatersheds was surprising when compared to larger nearby watersheds despite the fact that only two events were sampled. This pilot study shows the potential importance that small intermittent streams may have on the health of Canandaigua Lake. We recommend that the watersheds studied be further interrogated as to potential land-use practices that could be the cause for the high losses observed. A further, more intensive study, looking at a larger number of rivulets for an annual cycle is warranted. A study of this nature will more accurately determine the full impact these numerous subwatersheds are having on the “ecologic health” of Canandaigua Lake.
  • Stressed Stream Analysis of Deep Run and Gage Gully in the Canandaigua Lake Watershed

    Makarewicz, Joseph C.; Lewis, Theodore W.; The College at Brockport (2/1/2001)
    Deep Run and Gage Gully subwatersheds are located at Canandaigua Lake’s northeast corner. Both subwatersheds are relatively small in size but a three-year monitoring program has identified them as contributing disproportionately high loads of nutrients and suspended solids (soils) to Canandaigua Lake. Within the entire Canandaigua Lake watershed, Deep Run lost the most phosphorus and nitrate per unit area of watershed to Canandaigua Lake (January 1997 to January 2000), while Gage Gully ranked third. Also, the Deep Run and Gage Gully subwatersheds ranked 3rd and 5th for total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN) loss and 2nd and 3rd for total suspended solids loss per unit area, respectively in the Canandaigua Lake watershed. Because these two subwatersheds were contributing more nutrients and suspended solids than most subwatersheds of Canandaigua Lake, they have the potential to adversely affect the lake. The policy of maintaining the current high water quality of Canandaigua Lake suggested that the sources of pollution in Gage Gully and Deep Run be identified. With this report, we provide evidence suggesting the location and the intensity of pollution sources in the Deep Run and Gage Gully watersheds.
  • Lake Ontario Coastal Initiative Action Agenda

    Makarewicz, Joseph C.; Landre, Betsy; Lewandowski, Stephen; Terninko, John; Thorndike, Elizabeth; Center for Environmental Information; Finger Lakes–Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance; The College at Brockport (1/1/2006)
    The mission of the Lake Ontario Coastal Initiative (LOCI), encompassing all New York State North Coast stakeholders from the Niagara River to the St. Lawrence River, is to enlist and retain broad public commitment for remediation, restoration, protection, conservation and sustainable use of the coastal region. This mission will be accomplished by securing funds and resources to achieve scientific understanding, educate citizens, and implement locally supported priorities, programs and projects as identified through this Initiative.
  • Segment Analysis Of Fish Creek The Location Of Sources Of Pollution

    Makarewicz, Joseph C.; Lewis, Theodore W.; White, Daniel J.; The College at Brockport (10/1/2005)
    The Orleans County Soil and Water Conservation District has monitored the waterways of Orleans County since 1997 in collaboration with the State University of New York at Brockport's Department of Environmental Science and Biology. Monitoring efforts have included the installation of a permanent gauging and sampling stations located on Johnson Creek, Sandy Creek and Oak Orchard Creek (1, 2). The District and SUNY Brockport have also completed a Stressed Stream Analyses on Johnson Creek in 2000 (3), Marsh Creek in 2001 (4) and Otter Creek in 2003 (5). SUNY Brockport has provided analytical services for water chemistry, data interpretation, as well as consulting services on the direction of the monitoring program. Fish Creek is located in the southern portion of the Lake Ontario watershed, Orleans County, New York, and flows into Oak Orchard Creek south of Route 104 and east of Bates Road in the Town of Ridgeway, New York (Fig. 1). The goal of this project was to identify the sources of nutrients, soils and salts within the Fish Creek watershed through a process called segment analysis (6). With this report, we provide evidence suggesting the location, identity of pollutants and the intensity of pollution sources in the Fish Creek watershed.
  • Nutrient and Sediment Loss from the Watersheds of Canandaigua Lake

    Makarewicz, Joseph C.; Lewis, Theodore W.; The College at Brockport (4/1/2000)
    In the past three years of tributary monitoring, we have established the importance of meteorological events to the loss of nutrients and material into Canandaigua Lake. We have also prioritized the sub-watershed in terms of those losses and narrowed the focus of remedial attention down from sixteen to six sub-watersheds. This has allowed a shift in a portion of the monitoring towards the identification of the actual sources, both point and non-point, of pollution in the priority watersheds. The Sucker Brook Segment Analysis has been completed (Makarewicz, Lewis and Lewandowski 1999). Intensive monitoring is also continuing in the watershed. At present, efforts are concentrated on segment analysis of Gage Gully and Deep Run.
  • Water Resources of Monroe County, New York, Water Years 2000-02 Atmospheric Deposition, Ground Water, Streamflow, Trends in Water Quality, and Chemical Loads in Streams

    Sherwood, Donald A. (1/1/2005)
    This report, the fifth in a series that presents analyses of the hydrologic data collected in Monroe County since 1984, interprets data from four surface-water-monitoring sites in the Irondequoit Creek basin (Irondequoit Creek at Railroad Mills, East Branch Allen Creek at Pittsford, Allen Creek near Rochester, and Irondequoit Creek above Blossom Road); and from three sites on tributaries to the Genesee River (Oatka Creek at Garbutt, Honeoye Creek at Honeoye Falls, and Black Creek at Churchville) and from the Genesee River at Charlotte Docks. It also interprets data from a site on Northrup Creek, which provides information on nutrient loads delivered to Long Pond, a small eutrophic embayment of Lake Ontario. The report also includes water-level and water-quality data from nine observation wells in Ellison Park, and atmospheric-deposition data from a collection site at Mendon Ponds. Atmospheric Deposition: Average annual precipitation for 2000-02 was 33.11 in., 0.94 in. below normal. Average annual loads of some chemical constituents in atmospheric deposition for 2000-02 differed considerably from those for the previous period of record. Loads of all nutrients except ammonia decreased by amounts ranging from 28 percent (ammonia + organic nitrogen and phosphorus) to 2 percent (nitrite + nitrate), whereas ammonia loads an increased by 8 percent. Loads of dissolved sodium and total zinc in atmospheric deposition increased by 56 percent, and 54, percent respectively, over the previous period of record. Average annual loads of other constituents showed decreases ranging from 41 percent (dissolved magnesium) to 17 percent (dissolved chloride). Loads of all nutrients deposited in the Irondequoit Creek basin from atmospheric sources during 2000-02 greatly exceeded those transported by Irondequoit Creek. The ammonia load deposited in the basin was 165 times the load transported at Blossom Road (the most downstream site); the ammonia + organic nitrogen load was 2.8 times greater, orthophosphate 9.7 times greater, total phosphorus 1.2 times greater, and the nitrite + nitrate load was 1.6 times greater. Average yields of dissolved chloride and dissolved sulfate from atmosphoric sources were much less than those transported by streamflow at Blossom Road—chloride was about 1.5 percent and sulfate about 9.1 percent of the amount transported by Irondequoit Creek. Ground water: Ground-water-levels and water quality data were collected from 9 observation wells in Ellison Park in Monroe County. All wells except Mo 2 and Mo 659 are in the flood plain of Irondequoit Creek. Water levels indicate frequent reversals in direction of lateral flow toward or away from Irondequoit Creek, and all wells except Mo2 and Mo 659 respond to water level fluctuations in the Creek. Trend tests on water levels for the period of record indicate a slight upward trend in water levels at all nine wells, two of which (Mo 3 and Mo 667) were statistically significant. Concentrations of ammonia and ammonia + organic nitrogen showed a general decrease for the current period of record. Total phosphorus concentrations showed an increase at four wells and a decrease at four wells. Water quality data showed that the highest median concentrations of nutrients continues to occur in Mo 667 and the highest median concentrations of common ions was at Mo 664. Streamflow: Statistical analysis of long-term (greater than 15 years) streamflow records for unregulated streams in Monroe County indicated that annual mean flows for water years (A water year is the 12-month period from October 1 through September 30 of the following year.) 2000-02 generally were in the normal range (75th to 25th percentile), although Allen Creek continued to show a significant downward trend in mean monthly streamflow during the 1984-2002 water years. Chemical Concentration in Streams: Concentrations of several constituents in streams of the Irondequoit Creek basin showed statistically significant (a = 0.05) trends from the beginning of their period of record through 2002. Three of the four Irondequoit Creek sites (Allen Creek, Blossom Road, and Railroad Mills) showed downward trends in ammonia (4.6 to 12.0 percent per year) and ammonia + organic nitrogen (2.8 to 5.3 percent per year). Allen Creek showed downward trends in nitrite + nitrate and total phosphorus (both 1.2 percent per year), and Irondequoit Creek above Blossom Road showed an upward trend in orthophosphate (1.8 percent per year). Three Irondequoit Creek sites showed upward trends in dissolved chloride: Railroad Mills (4.8 percent per year), Allen Creek, and Blossom Road (both 1.9 percent per year). Allen Creek showed a downward trend in sulfate of 0.98 percent per year, whereas Blossom Road showed a downward trend in suspended solids of 4.0 percent per year. Volatile suspended solids showed an upward trend of 3.2 percent per year at Allen Creek and a downward trend of 2.2 percent per year at Blossom Road. Northrup Creek in western Monroe County, showed significant downward trends in concentrations of volatile suspended solids (2.5 percent per year), total phosphorus (5.3 percent per year), and orthophosphate (9.9 percent per year). The Genesee River at Charlotte Docks showed downward trends in volatile suspended solids (2.1 percent per year) and ammonia + organic nitrogen (4.5 percent per year). Oatka Creek at Garbutt showed an upward trend of 21.4 percent per year in turbidity. Chemical Loads in Streams: Mean annual yields (pounds or tons per square mile) of many constituents at the Irondequoit Creek sites were lower than those in previous reporting periods. Suspended solids and nitrite + nitrate yields were lower at three of the sites, and yields of volatile suspended solids, ammonia, and total phosphorus were lower at two of the sites. East Branch Allen Creek showed lower yields for five of the nine constituents for 2000-02, than for previous reporting periods. The decreased yields at East Branch Allen Creek are likely due to the Jefferson Road stormflow-detention basin and the much lower than normal runoff for the 2000-02 period.
  • Oak Orchard Creek Watershed The Location of Sources of Pollution, Annual Loss of Nutrients and Soil to Lake Ontario, and a Test of Effectiveness of Zone Tillage as a Best Management practice

    Makarewicz, Joseph C.; Lewis, Theodore W.; The College at Brockport (5/1/2009)
    Oak Orchard Creek is on New York State’s “303(d)” (1972 Clean Water Act) list of impaired water bodies. Waters designated as 303(d) do not meet water quality standards that states, territories, and authorized tribes have set for them, even after point sources of pollution have installed the minimum required levels of pollution control technology. A 303(d) designation may require the eventual development of Total Maximum Daily Loading (TMDL) for a watershed as a mechanism of managing nutrient losses from a watershed. Funding was received by the Orleans County Soil and Water Conservation District from the Environmental Protection Agency to implement actions that address point and nonpoint sources of nutrient loading to the creek and Lake Ontario’s coastal zone. Thus, the intended use of the funds received was to support the coordination and acceleration of implementation of management practices for nonpoint source pollution, adaptive management strategies, and investigations identifying sources of nutrient pollution. Within the Oak Orchard Creek watershed, the specific goal of prevention and reduction of water pollution in the coastal zone of Lake Ontario is through watershed management, aquatic ecosystem restoration, and nonpoint source management. In this report, as a result of a contract with Orleans County Soil and Water Conservation District, The College at Brockport provides evidence indicating the identity, the location, and the intensity of pollution sources in the Oak Orchard watershed, compares Zone Tillage with Conventional Tillage practices, and develops an annual nutrient budget for Oak Orchard Creek as a basis for development of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).

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