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lake samish, water quality, algae, cyanobacteria


This report describes work done as a continuation of the Lake Samish monitoring project started in June 2005. Additional data and lake information is available in the 2006–2008 final reports (Matthews, et al., 2006; Matthews and Vandersypen, 2007; Matthews and Vandersypen, 2008).

Lake Samish is a valuable aquatic resource, providing public access for boating, fishing, swimming, picnicking, and other water and lakeshore activities. Residents around the lake enjoy outstanding views of both the lake and its surrounding watershed, and the lake serves as a water supply for many of the lakeshore residents.

Lake Samish is located in the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Water Resource Inventory Area #3 (WRIA 3), and discharges into Friday Creek, a salmon spawning tributary of the Samish River.

The Lake Samish monitoring project was initiated in June 2005 to collect water quality data from the lake and from major tributaries in the watershed. Lake Samish experiences periodic algal blooms, including blooms of potentially toxic cyanobacteria. The major goal of the monitoring project was to collect data that would help identify the causes of the blooms, and possibly provide insight into how to protect the lake from water quality degradation.

Although the primary goal for this project was to collect baseline water quality data, a second goal was to begin looking as options for protecting water quality in the lake. A full assessment of lake management options is beyond the scope of this project, but several important observations can be made concerning the direction of future lake management efforts.




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