Research data collected at Cloud Lake over several months was presented at a Lakehead University workshop on February 17th. Cloud Lake is located approximately 30 km. southwest of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Graduate student Nathan Wilson and under-graduate Kyle Wright, under the direction of Dr. Rob Stewart and Jason Freeburn of the Department of Geography and Environmental Science, presented information on Cloud Lake water quality, shoreline health, and algae and fish populations. The research was carried out in an effort to determine why Cloud Lake algae has increased and fish species and populations have undergone substantial change in recent years.
Cloud Lake exhibits rather unique conditions, especially with respect to algae, which is not seen to the same extent in most other area lakes. Data collected identified several types of algae to be present, elevated phosphorous levels and large numbers of bass, now the predominant Cloud Lake fish species. Phosphorous is a major contributor to algae blooms and data collected indicated phosphorous was present at elevated levels both in tributary streams flowing into Cloud Lake and in sediment samples taken from the bottom of the lake. Water outflow from Cloud Lake is limited. The lake’s Cloud River outflow drains to Cloud Bay on Lake Superior, some 9 km. from the lake itself. No determination was made as to the relative influence on the Cloud Lake ecosystem of background, or “natural” sources of phosphorous, as opposed to man-made sources of phosphorous.
The seminar was attended by representatives of Lakehead University, the Lakehead Region Conservation Authority, the Municipality of Neebing, the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, EcoSuperior Environmental Programs, Northern Bio-Science and Streamline Consulting. Participants reviewed and provided input on collected data, recommending research be continued to better understand the mechanisms contributing to present day Cloud Lake conditions.
Cloud Lake research was supported through the generous support of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, the Municipality of Neebing, the Stewardship Council, the North Shore Steelhead Association and Lakehead University.
- View topics discussed at the workshop by accessing the agenda.
- View more photos of the workshop
- Cloud Lake monitoring photos – July, 2016
- Demonstration event photos with Cloud Lake campers and residents – August, 2016
It may not be possible to visit Ice caves in the Apostles Island National Lakeshore near Ashland, Wisconsin this winter. In previous winters, up to 8000 people in one day have walked a few kilometers across the ice in a steady stream to visit the caves. National Lakeshore officials pin blame for the lack of ice to walk out to the caves on the warm winter, especially a strong El Niño. Read more about the ice caves and view some fantastic photos in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
The Public Advisory to the Nipigon Bay Remedial Action Plan will meet at 7 p.m. on February 9th in the Rotary Room at Nipigon Hospital. The purpose of this meeting is to finalize the draft constitution for this group, as it transitions from a public advisory committee for the Nipigon Bay cleanup plan, or Remedial Action Plan, to an ongoing environmental organization. An update on progress toward construction of a new wastewater treatment plant for Red Rock will also be provided.
- Meeting Agenda (revised February 8th)
- Link to the Minutes of December 9, 2015
- Link to the “Superior Watershed Partnership” of Marquette, Michigan (an example of a flourishing watershed based environmental organization – Executive Director Carl Lindquist will speak to the February 9th meeting by phone).
Draft Terms of Reference for Ongoing Nipigon Environmental Organization: