• 2008 Lake Ontario Lakewide Fishery Assessment

      Lantry, Brian F.; Lantry, Jana R.; Schaner, Ted; NYSDEC Lake Ontario Unit; OMNR; USGS Great Lakes Science Center (4/1/2010)
      Lake trout abundance in Lake Ontario is now at a low level that has not been observed since modern restoration efforts began in the 1970s. However, the continued observations of small numbers of naturally spawned age-2 lake trout in assessment surveys and the appearance of mature lake trout of suspected natural origin, despite low abundance of the stocked population, is encouraging. Changes in stocking policy for Canadian waters in the early 1990s has produced a situation where lake trout along the north shore are concentrated in the west and east and suggests that the lakewide indicators of restoration progress used in the past for this part of the lake are in need of re-evaluation. In addition, this absence of lake trout along the central northern shore may be decreasing ecosystem stability and resistance to invasive species affects. Low lake trout abundance also seems to have positive implications for native preyfish recovery. Concurrent with lake trout declines, native deepwater sculpin (Myoxocephalus thompansonii) have reappeared (Lantry et al. 2007) and their recovery may indicate an enhanced opportunity exists for restoration of extirpated native deepwater coregonines. The results from this study thus far indicate that it would be beneficial to periodically repeat the whole lake survey and the five year interval of the EPA/EC Great Lakes cooperative monitoring cycle seems adequate and presents an ideal opportunity for researchers from this and other programs to share data and sampling infrastructure. Periodic lakewide lake trout assessments will extend annual monitoring of the condition of the lake trout population for the southern and north eastern areas of the lake to the whole lake and provide opportunity for assessment along the north shore. The whole lake surveys will also provide opportunities to calibrate between the annual USGS/NYSDEC standard lake trout assessments along the south shore and the OMNR community index netting occurring in the northeast portion of the lake; and an opportunity for collection of tissue samples for periodic examination of dietary trends and reproductive health.
    • 2010 Status of the Lake Ontario Lower Trophic Levels

      Holeck, Kristen T.; Hotaling, Christopher; Swan, Jonathan W.; Rudstam, Lars G.; McCullough, Russ; Lemmon, Dave; Pearsall, Web; Lantry, Jana R.; Connerton, Mike; LaPan, Steve; et al. (1/1/2010)
      This report presents data on the status of lower trophic level components of the Lake Ontario ecosystem (zooplankton, phytoplankton, nutrients) in 2010 and compares the 2010 data with available time series. Lower trophic levels are indicators of ecosystem health [as identified by the Lake Ontario Pelagic Community Health Indicator Committee (EPA 1993) and presented in the biennial State of the Lake Ecosystem Conference (SOLEC) reports] and determine the lake’s ability to support the prey fish upon which both wild and stocked salmonids depend. Understanding the production potential of lower trophic levels is also integral to ecosystem-based management. Continued evaluation of lower trophic levels is particularly important for fisheries management, as the observed declines in alewife and Chinook salmon in Lake Huron in 2003 may have been partly the result of changes in lower trophic levels (Barbiero et al. 2009).
    • A Five Year Summary of Kendig Creek Watershed Monitoring

      Makarewicz, Joseph C.; Lewis, Theodore W.; Lampman, Gregory G.; The College at Brockport (5/1/1996)
      Land use in the Kendig Creek watershed is mostly for agriculture purposes. Kendig Creek has relatively high concentrations of nitrate, total kjeldahl nitrogen and total suspended solids when compared to other watersheds in central New York State. Kendig Creek is also an event responsive watershed, i.e. a majority of the discharge, nutrient and solids lost from the watershed to the stream ecosystem occurs during precipitation or melting events. Stressed stream analysis has identified several agricultural sites that are contributing nutrients and soil to the stream ecosystem. Linking these three facts together suggest that agricultural practices allowing nutrients and soil to runoff into the creek are having a major impact on the loadings from Kendig Creek. The high loss of phosphorus from the watershed into Kendig Creek also indicate that the Creek is fairly polluted, when compared to other streams in western and central New York State. A remedial action plan and best management plan are suggested as the next logical step in developing a water quality program for this watershed.
    • A Limnological Study of the Finger Lakes of New York

      Birge, Edward A.; Juday, Chancey (10/27/1914)
      In 1910 the authors of this paper were enabled to visit the Finger Lakes district of New York, through a grant from the United States Bureau of Fisheries, and the month of August was spent in work upon the lakes. In February, 1911, Mr. Juday visited four of the lakes to secure winter temperatures. A week in August and September, 1911, was used in obtaining a second set of summer temperatures. The temperatures of Skaneateles and Owasco Lakes were also taken in February, 1912, and in the early autumn of that year. The purpose of the investigation was to extend to these lakes the studies on dissolved gases, plankton, and temperatures, which the authors had already made on the lakes of Wisconsin. The lakes of New York are peculiarly well adapted for such study. Four of those visited—Canadice, Otisco, Conesus, and Hemlock—are directly comparable with several of the lakes of Wisconsin in size, depth, and biological conditions. The others, beginning with Owasco Lake, form a series whose smaller members are not greatly different from Green Lake, Wis. ; but whose largest members, Cayuga and Seneca, are the largest inland lakes 6 (except Lake Champlain) and the deepest in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. Still further, these lakes lie in a region whose topography is hilly, but not mountainous. The highest elevations close to the lakes do not exceed 300 meters (1,000 feet) above the water, and the immediate slopes are, in general, much lower. The lakes, therefore, are not exposed to the peculiar climatic conditions of mountain lakes, but in general these conditions are comparable with those which exist in Wisconsin.
    • A Synthesis of Ecological and Fish-Community Changes in Lake Ontario, 1970-2000

      We assessed stressors associated with ecological and fishcommunity changes in Lake Ontario since 1970, when the first symposium on Salmonid Communities in Oligotrophic Lakes (SCOL I) was held (J. Fish. Res. Board Can. 29: 613-616). Phosphorus controls implemented in the early 1970s were undeniably successful; lower food-web studies showed declines in algal abundance and epilimnetic zooplankton production and a shift in pelagic primary productivity toward smaller organisms. Stressors on the fish community prior to 1970 such as exploitation, sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) predation, and effects of nuisance populations of alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) were largely ameliorated by the 1990s. The alewife became a pivotal species supporting a multi-million-dollar salmonid sport fishery, but alewife-induced thiamine deficiency continued to hamper restoration and sustainability of native lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush). Expanding salmonine populations dependent on alewife raised concerns about predator demand and prey supply, leading to reductions in salmonine stocking in the early 1990s. Relaxation of the predation impact by alewives and their shift to deeper water allowed recovery of native fishes such as threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) and emerald shiner (Notropis atherinoides). The return of the Lake Ontario ecosystem to historical conditions has been impeded by unplanned introductions. Establishment of Dreissena spp. led to increased water clarity and increased vectoring of lower trophic-level production to benthic habitats and contributed to the collapse of Diporeia spp. populations, behavioral modifications of key fish species, and the decline of native lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis). Despite reduced productivity, exotic-species introductions, and changes in the fish community, offshore Mysis relicta populations remained relatively stable. The effects of climate and climate change on the population abundance and dynamics of Lake Ontario fish were unknown at the time of SCOL I, but a temperature-time series begun in the late 1950s in the Kingston Basin has since provided evidence of climate warming and associated fishcommunity changes. We should expect ecological surprises in the coming decades that will challenge scientists and fishery managers especially as they face new exotic species, climate warming, and escalating stakeholder demands on the resource. Continuous long-term ecological studies were critical for interpreting changes in Lake Ontario’s fish community over the past three decades and will be essential in the future for both scientific understanding and management of the fishery.
    • Allen Creek Stormwater Assessment

      This Allen Creek Stormwater Assessment (stormwater assessment) describes a range of potential structural stormwater retrofit projects recommended to improve water quality and reduce stormwater runoff in the Allen Creek watershed in Monroe County, New York. The projects presented in this stormwater assessment are based on a planning-level analysis and are recommended for further study prior to implementation. An overarching goal of this stormwater assessment is to help Monroe County and other municipalities in the county restore water quality to sustain designated uses as required by the federal Clean Water Act.
    • An Addendum to Segment Analysis of Sucker Brook: The Location of Sources of Pollution

      Makarewicz, Joseph C.; Lewis, Theodore W.; The College at Brockport (2/1/2001)
      This supplemental report is an addendum to the original study 'Segment Analysis of Sucker Brook: The location of sources of pollution' (Makarewicz et a/. 1999). In the original study, recommendations for further investigation of two segments of Sucker Brook were suggested as follows. 1. The segment above Site 7 (Figure 1) in the City of Canandaigua had high concentrations of soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) and total phosphorus (TP) during an event January 1999. The source(s) was not identified. 2. The segment between Sites3 and 4 (Figure 1) had high concentrations of soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP), total phosphorus (TP) and total suspended solids (TSS). The source( s) was not identified. Three separate supplemental events, two for Site 7 and one for the segment between Sites 3 and 4 were sampled in 2000 to conclude the Sucker Brook Stressed Stream Analysis.
    • Analysis of the Existing Water Quality Database for the Sandy Creek and South Sandy Creek Watersheds – 1997 to 2005

      Makarewicz, Joseph C.; Lewis, Theodore W.; The College at Brockport (10/1/2006)
      Runoff from agricultural lands containing soil and nutrients poses a known threat to the water quality of embayments and coastal regions of Lake Ontario (Makarewicz 2000). The Lakeview Marsh State Wildlife Management Area in Jefferson County, NY is a prime example of these types of ecologically valuable coastal wetland and embayment habitats. This embayment / wetland complex is fed by the watersheds of Sandy Creek and South Sandy Creek. The mouths of these creeks contain globally rare freshwater dunes, diverse wetlands and several types of globally rare vegetation. Sandy Creek also provides an emergency unfiltered drinking water supply for the Village of Adams and the Hamlet of Adams Center. In general, the environmental effects of agricultural runoff, including eutrophication and sedimentation, on surface water bodies are serious local, regional and national issues. These issues create a dilemma for governmental leaders in agricultural areas; their most important economic industry, agriculture, may also be the cause of environmental degradation. For farmers, this is further exacerbated by the high profile increase of governmental regulation on agricultural operations. The agricultural industry needs scientific evidence that they are capable of being part of the solution not just part of the problem.
    • Aquatic Biological Survey, Oak Orchard Harbor: Final Report to the Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District

      Makarewicz, Joseph C.; Haynes, James M.; Dilcher, Ronald C.; The College at Brockport (10/1/1979)
      This report evaluates the potential environmental impact of proposed maintenance dredging at Oak Orchard Harbor, New York, by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Field samples were obtained in autumn 1978 and spring and summer 1979. Data reports based on these sampling efforts were submitted earlier to the Buffalo District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The impact of dredging was considered in relation to physical and chemical conditions, terrestrial vegetation/wetlands, aquatic macrophytes, macrobenthos, phytoplankton and zooplankton, fish, birds, endangered species, toxic chemicals and seiches. For each factor considered, sections entitled Existing Conditions are followed by our Assessment of Impact. The last section presents our conclusions and recommendations concerning the general impact of dredging.
    • Assessment of Abundance, Biomass and Production of the Lower Trophic Levels in the Eastern Basin of Lake Erie, 1994

      Graham, D. M.; Dahl, J. A.; Millard, E. S.; Johannsson, O. E.; White, L. L. (1/1/1996)
      The Lake Erie Biomonitoring (LEB) program conducted in 1994, focused on the eastern basin of the lake, resampling the same sites as in 1993. Nutrient conditions were similar in the two years. Responses differed between the stratified offshore and unstratified nearshore. At the offshore station, seasonal phytoplankton biomass was 56% higher in 1994 than in 1993 and apparently resulted from a reduction in grazing pressure by Dreissena. Dreissena biomass and their potential clearance rates at the offshore station were much lower in the spring of 1994 than in the spring of 1993 (2.5 vs. 14.9 m3·m·2·d·'), respectively. Despite this increase in phytoplankton biomass, chlorophyll (Chi) and phytoplankton photosynthesis (PP) were not significantly higher in 1994. Dinoflagellates, which have lower Chl:C and lower photosynthesis:Chl ratios than other groups of phytoplankton, accounted for much of the increase in biomass. Rotifer biomass decreased by 50% and zooplankton biomass by 40% between the two years. Calanoids were responsible for much of the decrease in zooplankton biomass. Composition also shifted towards larger bodied cladocerans, such as Daphnia and Bythotrephes, and away from Bosmina. This shift coincided with changes in predation pressure. Age-one smelt abundance was extremely high in 1993 and low in 1994, while the reverse was true of the YOY smelt. Age-one smelt consume mainly cladocerans and the YOY, copepods (REF). At the nearshore stations, seasonal PP and Chi were well below that expected given the total phosphorus (TP) concentration, indicating that Dreissena had an important impact on phytoplankton photosynthesis in this region. Low transparency due to suspended sediments also contributed to the low PP at station El. Zooplankton biomass was lower in 1994 than in 1993, and species composition and size shifted. Daphnia increased and calanoids and Bosmina decreased in the nearshore as in the offshore, presumably in response to changes in the smelt population. However, Bythotrephes decreased and rotifer biomass increased unlike in the offshore.
    • Bathymetry of Lake Ontario Poster

      Nationa Geophysical Data Center; NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (2006-06-21)
      Bathymetry of Lake Ontario
    • Biological Survey Buffalo River and Outer Harbor of Buffalo, N.Y.

      Makarewicz, Joseph C.; Dilcher, Ronald C.; Haynes, James M.; Shump, Karl; The College at Brockport (6/1/1982)
      The shoreline of the Buffalo River is developed with heavy industry such as Republic Steel, Allied Chemical, Mobil Oil and numerous grain elevators. Similarly, on southeast shore o f the Outer Harbor, heavy industry such as Bethlehem Steel, Huron Cement and Lackawanna Steel is evident. On the eastern shore o f the Outer Harbor, freighters unload salt, taconite, coal, etc. into large storage piles for later use by the area industries. Large lake-going freighters and oilers routinely use the previously dredged channel existing along the entire length of the study area (Fig. 1) while servicing the industries located along the water front. The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers is considering the feasibility of dredging the Outer Harbor and Buffalo River channels deeper to accommodate deeper draft vessels and/or to construct alternative means of transshipment of raw materials. An intensive study of the Buffalo River, Ship Canal and Outer Harbor of Buffalo, New was undertaken between April 1981 and May 1982 with the following general objectives: (1) To evaluate existing conditions in the river and harbor and to evaluate the biological impact of dredging the channel deeper in the Buffalo River and Outer Harbor; (2) To evaluate the biological impact of alternative proposals to dredging such as transshipment of raw materials by conveyor; (3) To evaluate the biological impact of removal of debris, old pilings, etc. along the Buffalo shoreline; (4) To evaluate existing conditions in potential disposal areas (Fig. 2) and to evaluate the biological impact of spoil disposal in these areas; and (5) To provide a functional assessment of the ecological components studied and evaluate their significance with and without project implementation to the area ecosystem. In Volume 1, the Final Report, our analysis and interpretation of existing conditions and our assessment of impacts are presented. In Volume 2, the Data Report, the raw field data is presented in tabular form.
    • 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.
    • Braddock Bay Monroe County, New York

      Makarewicz, Joseph C.; Nowak, Matthew J.; The College at Brockport (1/1/2010)
      Braddock Bay, located just west of Rochester, NY, is one of Lake Ontario’s larger embayments. The bay is open to wave action from Lake Ontario, differentiating it from several other embayments such as Port and Sodus Bays. Braddock Bay is located in the 2,500-acre Braddock Bay Fish and Wildlife Management Area; is a major waterfowl and migratory bird nesting, resting, and feeding habitat; has 541 boat slips; and is a major access point to the lake from the southern shore. The Braddock Bay watershed contains a mix of residential development, state park, and protected wildlife areas. Nuisance algae, bacterial abundance, and algal mat development along the southern shoreline of Lake Ontario are major causes of beach closings, fouling the nearshore waters and limiting water recreation. This short report provides a synopsis of data collected monthly from May through September (2003 to 2009) on the water quality of Braddock Bay and the lakeside (swimmable depth) of Lake Ontario east of the entrance to Braddock Bay.
    • Canandaigua Lake Subwatersheds: Time Trends in Event Loading and the Watershed Index

      Makarewicz, Joseph C.; Lewis, Theodore W.; The College at Brockport (2/1/2001)
      From an applied science perspective, a goal of the Canandaigua Lake water quality monitoring program was the development of a statistically defensible database of ecologically important parameters that would allow stewards of the watershed to prioritize and determine which subwatershed had the largest potential impact on Canandaigua Lake. Before the 2000 sampling season, we had collected and analyzed a total of 5 1 samples (36 event and 15 event samples) taken from 20 tributaries of Canandaigua Lake. After three years of sampling, the database was large enough to provide a reasonable estimate of annual nutrient and sediment loss from the tributaries into Canandaigua Lake allowing the subwatersheds to be prioritized. In addition, it was generally clear that most of the nutrient and soil loss from subwatersheds occurred during hydrometeorological events. In this report, the results of the 2000 events are compared to the previous three years of events. We also introduce the concept of the Watershed Index as a method to assess future trends in event and non-event loading in each subwatershed.
    • Cape Vincent Harbor: Summer Data Report to the Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District

      Haynes, James M.; Makarewicz, Joseph C.; The College at Brockport (8/1/1979)
      Fish, benthos, macrophytes and birds were collected or observed over two days (16 July through 17 July 1979) at Cape Vincent Harbor, New York, to evaluate the potential biological impact of dredging on the harbor. Figure 1 is a map of the harbor area indicating the location of sampling sites. Observed fishing pressure and boat traffic were minimal during the two-day sampling trip. This is a preliminary data report. The final report will include both our analysis and interpretation of the data regarding potential impacts of dredging.
    • Causes of Foaming and Surfactant Source Identification in Sandy Creek Orleans and Monroe County, New York

      Makarewicz, Joseph C.; Cady, Bruce L.; The College at Brockport (3/1/1994)
      This study concludes that the Albion Wastewater Treatment Plant increases the anionic surfactant (MBAS) concentrations in Sandy Creek as it passes the plant discharge pipe. This increase ranges from less than 10% to more than 100% of background levels. However, for all samples collected in our investigation, the total concentration (background plus plant effluent) never reached 100 µg/L, the upper level for natural waters.
    • Characterization and Prioritization of the Watersheds of Niagara County, New York

      Makarewicz, Joseph C.; Lewis, Theodore W.; White, Daniel J.; Seider, Mark; Digiacomo, Victor; Niagara County Soil and Water Conservation District; The College at Brockport (6/1/2008)
      In recognition of the need to acquire a uniform, organized approach to addressing surface 6 water degradation and given the diverse nature of non-point sources of pollution within the County, the Soil and Water Conservation District formed a committee known as the Niagara County Water Quality Coordinating Committee (WQCC). Since little was known about the environmental status of other major creeks in Niagara County, the WQCC recommended a study to evaluate nutrient and soil loss from 17 watersheds and their creeks. The purpose of the monitoring program was to collect water quality data to quantify the concentration and loading of nutrients and suspended sediments transported from 17 Niagara County Creeks to Lake Ontario and to evaluate the health of the creek and its impact on Lake Ontario. In addition, the data serve as a database to make informed water quality management decisions including the development of a watershed management plan, and as a benchmark of discharge and nutrient data to measure the success of future remediation efforts and to suggest a priority listing of water quality goals.
    • Characterization of Six Watersheds of Wayne County, New York

      Makarewicz, Joseph C.; Lewis, Theodore W.; Frainier, Alyssa S.; Frainier, Alyssa S.; The College at Brockport (1/1/2010)
      Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District has a long history of working to keep soil and nutrients on the land and out of the water. Much of this work has focused on Sodus Bay and Port Bay (Makarewicz and Lewis 1989, 1990; Makarewicz et al. 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994; White et al. 2002). However, little is known about the environmental status of other major creeks in Wayne County away from the coastal area of Lake Ontario. As a result, the Wayne County Water Quality Coordinating Committee (WQCC) recommended a study to evaluate nutrient and soil loss from six watersheds and their creeks [Canandaigua Outlet, Glenmark (Sodus) Creek, Crusoe Creek, Black Brook, Red Creek East, and Red Creek West] not previously assessed. The purpose of the monitoring program was to collect water quality data in order to quantify the concentration and loading of nutrients and suspended sediments transported from these creeks and to evaluate the environmental health of each creek. In addition, the data serve as a database to make informed water quality management decisions, including the development of a watershed management plan, and as a benchmark of discharge and nutrient data to measure the success of future remediation efforts and to begin a data set that would lead to a priority listing of water quality goals.
    • Chaumont Bay Jefferson County, New York

      Makarewicz, Joseph C.; Nowak, Matthew J.; The College at Brockport (1/1/2010)
      Chaumont Bay is a 9,000-acre embayment located on the east end of Lake Ontario. The bay receives tributary waters from Guffon Creek, Three Mile Creek, and the Chaumont River, creating three smaller embayments within Chaumont Bay on the northeastern side. The bay is lined by shoreline development, but the watershed is primarily agriculture. Algae blooms plague Chaumont Bay and hamper boating, swimming, and fish consumption. Direct sewage discharges into Chaumont Bay have been documented, but inadequate septic systems are considered the primary source of nutrient loading to the bay. This short report provides a synopsis of data collected monthly from May through September (2005 to 2009) on the water quality of Chaumont Bay and the lakeside (swimmable depth) of Lake Ontario near the bay.