Toxic algae
 Minimum flows and levels and total...
 Volunteer bulletin board
 Lakewatch needs you
 Florida still reigns supreme as...
 Outstanding Lakewatch voluntee...
 Walton County dune lakes
 Back Cover


Florida Lakewatch newsletter
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00055470/00033
 Material Information
Title: Florida Lakewatch newsletter
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Florida LAKEWATCH
Publisher: Dept. of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) at the University of Florida (UF)
Place of Publication: Gainesville FL
Creation Date: 2008
Frequency: irregular
completely irregular
Subjects / Keywords: Lakes -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
General Note: Description based on v. 9 (spring 1997); title from caption.
General Note: Latest issue consulted: v. 33 (2006).
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 65383070
lccn - 2006229159
System ID: UF00055470:00033


This item has the following downloads:

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Table of Contents
    Toxic algae
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Minimum flows and levels and total maximum daily loads
        Page 4
        Page 5
    Volunteer bulletin board
        Page 6
    Lakewatch needs you
        Page 7
    Florida still reigns supreme as fishing capital of the world
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Outstanding Lakewatch volunteer
        Page 10
    Walton County dune lakes
        Page 11
    Back Cover
        Page 12
Full Text

F or ida


Toxic Algae: Should Floridians Be Worried?



A microscopic view of Microcystis aeruginosa.

Toxic algae are an issue of increasing
concern for scientists and community
members alike. Especially in Florida, we
hear and see media headlines claiming the
dangers and adverse effects caused by
toxic algae. The fear of these microscopic
organisms is ever present and escalating,
therefore, gaining a better understanding
and awareness of toxic algae will provide
the average citizen with the ability to
determine if these claims are a cause for

When reading about toxic algae blooms,
sometimes people are confused as to
whether marine or freshwater algae are
responsible. Take for example the
organism that causes the dreaded Red Tide
that causes massive fish kills along our

Florida beaches. The dinoflagellate algae
species that scientists have named Karenia
brevis can produce a toxin called
brevetoxin. When these algae bloom in
large numbers they are responsible for
causing the toxic conditions known as Red
Tide. While dinoflagellate algae are found
both in freshwater and marine water, the
dinoflagellates responsible for causing the
red tide only occur in marine waters.

When examining toxins produced by algae
in freshwater systems, the focus of
concern should be directed to the type of
algae known as blue-green algae or
cyanobacteria. Blue-green algae
predominate in freshwater systems and
generally proliferate in warmer waters
with high nutrient concentrations. Because

many of Florida's freshwater systems
exhibit these characteristics, blue-green
algae blooms have the potential to occur

There are many species of cyanobacteria
that can contribute to these blooms, but the
blue-green algae called Microcystis
aeruginosa is one of the most common.
Some strains of blue-green algae produce a
toxin called microcystin. Microcystin is a
hepatotoxin (or liver toxin) and may also
act as a tumor promoter in studies
Continued on page 2.

completed in rats and mice. Reported
cases of animal sickness and death have
been attributed to microcystin. Many of
these cases involved cattle or dogs that had
ingested water containing extremely high
microcystin concentrations as a result of
intense algae blooms. Rare instances of
human deaths have occurred when patients
received contaminated water containing
high microcystin concentrations during
their dialysis treatments.

In response to these microcystin studies
and reported cases, the World Health
Organization (WHO) developed
provisional safety standards for
microcystin concentrations in water. The
WHO drinking water standard was set at 1
gg/L and a recreational water contact
standard was set at 20 tg/L. Because the
possibility of adverse effects from
microcystin exists, water samples
collected by Florida LAKEWATCH
volunteers were analyzed for microcystin
concentrations to identify potential
problem lakes or areas of concern.

From January-December 2006, Florida
LAKEWATCH collected 862 individual
water samples from 187 Florida lakes that
were analyzed for microcystin. These
samples were analyzed using an enzyme-
linked immunosorbent assay known as
ELISA. An ELISA kit consisted of a plate
with 98-wells and into each well the lake
water sample was loaded. After treatment
with several different chemical processes,
the absorbance of each water sample was
read with a microplate reader. From the
absorbance value, the microcystin
concentration was calculated. The
following are three major findings from
the study.

(1) Of a total of 862 water samples that
were analyzed:
Only 7 % of the water samples exceeded
the 1 lpg/L World Health Organization
standard establishedfor drinking water

Only 3 individual water samples (0.3%)
exceeded the 20 lpg/L World Health
Organization standard establishedfor
recreational water contact.

Therefore, microcystin does not seem to
pose a major threat to lake recreational

Table 1. Trophic states for the water samples analyzed for microcystin
concentration and percent of water samples that met or exceeded the WHO
drinking water standard (1 pg/L) and WHO recreational water contact
standard (20 pg/L).

Trophic state of # of water % of water samples % of water
water samples samples for with microcystin samples with
analyzed each trophic >~1g/L microcystin
state >20pg/L
Oligotrophic 102 0% 0%
Mesotrophic 221 0% 0%
Eutrophic 378 4% 0%
Hypereutrophic 161 27% 2%

activities such as boating, fishing,
swimming, and water skiing. However,
concerns could arise if the lakes were used
for drinking water sources.

(2) Water samples collected from
eutrophic and hypereutrophic lakes
tended to have higher microcystin
concentrations and were the only water
samples in this study that exceeded the
WHO drinking water and recreational
water contact standards.

All water samples were classified into
trophic states based on the amount of
biological productivity as estimated using

chlorophyll concentration and the criteria
of Forsberg and Ryding (1980). The
following four trophic state classifications
are based on chlorophyll concentration:
oligotrophic < 3 ig/L, mesotrophic 3 7
tg/L, eutrophic 7 40 ig/L, and
hypereutrophic > 40 tg/L. The results are
shown in Table 1.

The data show that as the trophic state of
the water samples increases, the
percentage of water samples containing
microcystin concentrations that meet or
exceed the WHO drinking water standard
(1 g/L) and recreational water contact
standard (20 tg/L) increases as well.

A Microsystis aeruginosa bloom on the surface of a lake.

An ELISA plate ready for analysis.

In other words, eutrophic and
hypereutrophic lakes have the potential
for higher microcystin concentrations.
Although some oligotrophic and
mesotrophic lakes had water samples
with detectable microcystin
concentrations (0.1 lg/L was the
detection limit), none of these lakes had
concentrations that met or exceeded the
WHO drinking water standard of > 1

(3) In some hypereutrophic Florida
lakes, microcystin concentrations
begin increasing in late summer with
the highest concentrations occurring
during the months of September
through December.

At any time throughout the year in the
eutrophic and hypereutrophic Florida
lakes tested in this study, there was a
potential for microcystin concentrations
that were > 1 Ig/L. However, starting in
September and going through December,
microcystin concentrations in some
hypereutrophic lakes increased with the
highest values (> 20 gg/L) occurring
during this time period.

Now that the data has been presented, we

pose the question "Is microcystin
contamination the greatest threat to users
of Florida's freshwaters?" Let's think of
the possibility versus the probability. The
possibility is there because intense blue-
green algae blooms will occur and could
potentially create high microcystin
concentrations. However, based on

the evidence the probability of
encountering high microcystin
concentrations in Florida lakes that
exceed the WHO recreational water
contact standard seems to be low, at
least based on the results of this study
done during 2006. To be on the safe
side, remember that if a major algae
bloom is observed or reported, it is
probably best to keep both humans
and animals out of the water as a
precautionary measure until the
bloom subsides.

Dana Bigham, a graduate student
with Florida LAKEWATCH at the
University of Florida, contributed
this article based on research she
did to fulfill the requirements for a
Masters of Science Degree. If you
have any questions or concerns,
please feel free to contact Dana


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An ELISA plate during the analysis process.

To learn more about m11icloc' still. take a look at the book /,\IL L vil/ ih,/iL'I hi I//// 1 tL' .-I ,'/ih/ it' I//hii /'l///l
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a\ ailable from the Internet at the follow \ inu link

http://www.who.int/water sanitation health/resLesourcesqality/toxicyabact/en/

Minimum flows and levels (MFLs) and Total Maximum

Daily Loads (TMDLs)

Minimum flows and levels

The 2007 Florida Statute Subsection
373.042(2) mandates that the five
Water Management Districts set
minimum water flows and/or levels
(MFLs). The Legislature believed it
was necessary to prevent significant
harm to the water resources or
ecology of an area resulting from
surface water withdrawals permitted
by the Districts.

The MFLs define how often and for
how long high, average, and low
water levels should occur to prevent
significant harm. The term significant
harm however is never clearly
defined making it difficult for the
Water Management Districts to
actually set reasonable MFLs. In fact,
each District takes a different method
on defining significant harm and
some districts like the Southwest
District actually uses up to five
different methods for setting MFLs.
Generally, the hydrologic conditions
defined by established MFLs are
similar to, but usually lower than the
existing hydrologic conditions. In
theory, MFLs protect both
consumptive and non-consumptive
water uses.

Minimum flows and levels identify a
range of water levels and/or flows
above which water could be permitted
for consumptive use. Consumptive
use causes the diminishment of the
water source at the point of
appropriation. Consumptive uses
include the use of water in such
quantity as is necessary for economic
and efficient use for a purpose and
manner that is both reasonable and
consistent with the public interest. In
simple terms, it is for human use for
drinking water, Non-consumptive use
causes no diversion from the water
source or diminishment of the source.
Non-consumptive uses include
quantities of water necessary for
navigation, recreation, and
maintaining fish and wildlife habitat

" ..

Lake Brooklyn in Clay County showing very low water levels.

as well as other natural resources. It is
especially difficult to set MFLs on
multi-use lakes because as
LAKEWATCH always tries to
emphasize "a lake can not be all
things to all people."

Another problem with setting MFLs
is that many lakes and rivers do not
have a long-term data base available
for determining the actual historical
hydrology. Thus, if the MFL process
occurs during a drought period like
Florida is currently experiencing, or
after significant water withdrawals
have already occurred, the minimum
high and minimum average levels
may not recognize any significant
harm that has already occurred.
Essentially, current impacts during
present low water conditions would
not be addressed.

Determining the MFLs based on low
conditions could potentially allow for
greater water withdrawals when water

levels return to historic levels. On the
other hand if water levels continue to
drop, previously established MFLs
would only indicate that significant
harm has occurred or is occurring.

If significant harm has occurred, state
agencies will try to find a way to
correct for the effects endured under
continuous minimum lows. For
example, the Hillsborough River is
used as a drinking water source by
several communities and has been
under continuous low levels for some
time. The Southwest Florida Water
Management District (SWFWMD) is
attempting to experimentally augment
Hillsborough River using water from
a flowing sink. They are monitoring
ground wells and surface waters of
lakes to determine potential impacts.
If significant lowering of lake levels
occurs (greater than expected based
on evaporation) then the pumping
from the sink would theoretically

Florida Statutes Subsection 373.042(2) requires the establishment of
MFLs. Establishing MFLs is also a requirement of the State
Comprehensive Plan, the water implementation rule, and a 1996
Governor's executive order for priority water bodies. How and when MFLs
determinations are made are exceedingly important as the program
provides input to the water supply planning process (373.0361, F.S.),
permitting criteria for consumptive use permits (Chapter 40C-2, F.A.C.)
and environmental resource permitting program (ERP).

cease. The use of water from a
flowing sink that is connected directly
to a deeper aquifer will most likely
not impact surface water levels
directly. It is essentially a
groundwater withdrawal. Results are
not in and LAKEWATCH will try to
keep you updated.

Generally, MFL development is being
done without reference to existing
uses and development, with some
exceptions. Districts maintain there
should be great flexibility in
addressing "significant harm" to
include regional considerations. The
following are how the different
Districts look at the concept of
"significant harm":

Northwest Florida Water
Management District (NWFWMD)
No definition, but states it involves
science-based judgments requiring
regional governing board to
determine what functions are to be
protected to ensure a sustainable

Suwannee River Water Management
District (SRWMD)
No prescriptive definition of
significant harm. Staff state the
process is science-driven rather than

St. Johns River Water Management
District (SJRWMD)
Defines in terms of impact on the
structure and function of ecosystems.
Staff states they examine long-term
biological, physical and hydrological
indicators in an effort to evaluate
appropriate levels without reference
to human uses.

Southwest Florida Water
Management District (SWFWMD)
Definition involves protecting
existing as well as future consumptive
uses of water, and at the District's
discretion may provide for
protection of non-consumptive uses.

South Florida Water Management
District (SFWMD)
Definition involves science-based
judgments that should provide for
some acceptable level of harm to
water resources from consumptive
uses and flood protection.

Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDLs)

During the last century there have
been many examples of degraded
water quality in the United States as
well as other parts of the world. To
address these problems and protect
our Country's vast water resources the
Federal government established a
subsection in the Clean water Act of
1972 to address impaired waters.
A Total Maximum Daily Load
(TMDL) specifies the maximum
amount of a specific pollutant a
waterbody can receive and still meet
water quality standards including
pollutant loadings from point and
non-point sources. Legislation
established means for adopting
TMDLs, allocating pollutant loadings
among contributing sources and
implementing pollution reduction
strategies. TMDL development
involves determination of the
"assimilative capacity" of the
impaired water for the pollutant
causing the impairment. TMDLs are
determined typically by computer
modeling that predicts the fate and
transport of pollutants.

Lake JoAnna in Lake County during a recent
The Florida TMDL process has been
formalized by the Florida Department
of Environmental Protection's
(FDEP) five step approach which can
be summarized as: (1) data collection
and assessment; (2) follow-up data
(3) setting the total allowable
pollutant load in the form of a
TMDL; (4) development of a Basin
Management Action Plan (BMAP),
and (5) implementation of the plan.
During the BMAP development step
the FDEP works with stakeholders to
allocate pollutant loads to point and

non-point sources and determine the
party responsible for the specific
pollution load, identify funding
sources, set forth management
strategies (stormwater retrofits,
wastewater upgrades, best
management practices, etc.), and
secure commitments to implement the
actions called for in the plan. Each
BMAP will be adopted by an order of
the Secretary of the FDEP and the
implementation of the BMAP is
accomplished cooperatively with
stakeholders and can be viewed as an
adaptive management tool. Its
success is measured against objective
standards and, where necessary,
changes may be made (through
Secretarial adoption).

At the Federal level, subsection
305(b) of the 1972 Clean Water Act
(CWA) requires states, territories and
authorized tribes to develop lists of
polluted/impaired waters. This
legislation defines how impaired
waters are to be determined. The US
Environmental Protection Agency
under the CWA requires the lists to
be ranked according to priority and to
develop TMDLs of pollutants for
these waters.
At the State level, Chapter 99-223 of
the Laws of Florida sets forth the
process by which the impaired waters
list will be refined through more
detailed water quality assessments.
The 1999 Florida Wetlands
Restoration Act (FWRA) clarifies
statutory authority for TMDL
development and to define the
approval process. This legislation
established Florida's 303 (d) list of
impaired waters that was submitted to
USEPA in 1998 for planning
purposes only. The FWRA requires
FDEP to adopt listing criteria and
methodology by Rule (Chapter 62-
303 FAC). Once adopted by Rule,
FDEP is required to validate
impairment in listed waters for which
FDEP will calculate the TMDLs
provided for in 403.067 (4) of the
Florida Statutes. This impaired waters
list along with calculated TMDLs
will then be submitted to the USEPA
pursuant 303 (d)(1)c of the CWA. In
addition, FDEP is required to
evaluate whether proposed pollution
control programs are sufficient to
meet water quality standards.

No longer able to sample?

If you are unable to collect samples on your lake and would like to resign,
please give us a call and let us know. We appreciate all of the hard work that
you have done and understand that time does not always allow us to get
everything done that we would like. We also ask that you return the sampling
equipment to your water collection center or mail to our office as soon as
possible. Be sure to label the equipment kit with your name, lake name and
county so we can credit you with its return. The equipment used to sample
your lake is essential for our program and costs about $400 dollars per kit. It
is important that we re-use this equipment to keep our expenses down. If you
have already returned your equipment, thank you very much, but give us a
call and let us know so we can update our records.

Water levels low?

If you are unable to sample due to low water levels and have not contacted us
to let us know please consider giving us a call. We have a toll free number (1-
800-525-3928) and it will just take one minute of your time. This will update
our records and help us separate which volunteers can no longer sample due
to low water from those who can no longer sample due to other reasons such
as health, time, or etc.

The 2007 FL LAKEWATCH/Fish and
Wildlife Conservation Commission
long-term fish monitoring program
report for 2007 is now available on
the LAKEWATCH website at :
htto://la kewatch.ifas.ufl.edu/

The 2007 report as well as a list of
the lakes sampled are available to
download in pdf format.

Thank You!
We take this opportunity to thank you for your hard work
and dedication! Using Florida LAKEWATCH techniques, you
are documenting your lake's nutrient levels (nitrogen and
phosphorus), its algae content, and its water clarity. These
data are compiled to create a long term data base that can
be used as an "early warning system" to help spot potential
problems in their earlier stages. The Florida LAKEWATCH
program also forms a network for communication, education,
and understanding among various groups and individuals
involved in research, planning, management, and resource
use. Without your help this information would never have
been generated. Be proud of yourself!



Highlands County

Polk County

Seminole County

Little Bonnett

Mills Pond

Polk County

Blue 2

Blue South

Clearwater Little Otis
Clinch Little Spirit
Conine Little Winterset
Cragp Livingston
-a Lost
*.''4 Lucerne
SV label
F ie arion


Little Elbert
Little Hamilton

St. Anne

Cranes Roost
East Crystal
Horseshoe North

Island Pond
Monroe East
Plaza Oval
Quail Pond
Red Bug
Twin East
West Crystal

Florida Still Reigns Supreme as

Fishing Capital of the World

Florida cannot be beat as the No. 1
place to cast a line, pitch a lure or
land a lunker. No tall fisher's tale
here this title has been earned,
according to a survey by the U.S.
Census Bureau. 7.-

Every five years the Census Bureau
conducts the "National Survey of
Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-
Associated Recreation." This survey
is the gold standard for comparing
outdoor recreational activities
between the states. Once again it
proves that Florida is the number one
fishing destination, according to the
2006 results.

The facts tell where anglers go for the
best fishing opportunities. Florida
provided 46.3 million days of
recreational fishing in 2006 versus
41.1 million days in Texas, the
second highest state. Of fishing days
spent in Florida, 4.8 million days
were by tourists (nonresidents), while
Wisconsin, the second highest state
for tourist days, provided 3.8 million
days. In terms of nonresident anglers,
Florida is also number one with
885,000, versus No. 2 North Carolina
with less than half that at 395,000.

But the story does not end there.
Overall Florida again ranked first in
number of fishing participants age 16
and older with 2.77 million. Runner-
up Texas had 2.53 million
participants. However, in 2001
Florida had 3.10 million anglers, so
there has been a decline of
approximately 11 percent over five
years according to these estimates.

If you look at the decline as a
percentage of the population, which
has been rapidly increasing, the
percent decline is a little more
dramatic. In 2001, national rates were
16 percent and in Florida 17 percent
of the population fished. Those rates
dropped to 13 percent nationally and
to 14 percent in the Sunshine State in
2006. On the positive side, the
number of fishing days per angler has

' ..- Sii;
I ,,.

A young angler enjoys success on a Florida

increased nationally, with the average
angler fishing 17 days out of the year
in 2006.

Anglers in Florida spent $4.4 billion
in 2006, allowing Florida to claim
another No. 1 spot as the place where
anglers spend the most money. The
Lone-Star State was second best with
$4.3 billion spent on fishing.
Recreational fishing dollars helped to
support 75,068 jobs in Florida, again
making it No. 1, with Texas trailing
behind with 58,938 jobs. This
economic trend is great news for
Florida partially because state and
local taxes from the sale of fishing-
related goods and services generated
$441 million for general funds.




In spite of the national estimates of
fishing participation for all U.S.
anglers (does not include foreign
anglers) over 16 years of age
decreasing, actual fishing license
sales for both freshwater and
saltwater have increased in Florida.
From 2001-02, with 1,070,577
licenses sold to 2006-07 with
1,188,092, there was an increase of
11 percent in the sale of saltwater
licenses. Freshwater license sales
increased, from 587,413 sold in 2001-
02 to 630,078 in 2006-07, showing an
increase of 7 percent. Although not
enough to keep pace with the
population increase, it is certainly
better than competing states.

The latest national survey again shows Florida has
more anglers than any other state.






0 1,000,000 2,000,000 3,000,000
In state fishing participants

Figure 1. Number of in-state fishing participants estimated in 2006 for the top five states in the United States.

In calendar year 2006, the National
Survey estimated 2.77 million
anglers fished in Florida, and during
fiscal year 2006-07 (July 1 to June
30), 1.55 million fishing licenses

were sold. This discrepancy is
partially the result of seniors (age 65
and older), resident saltwater
shoreline anglers and several other
groups, including those fishing from

.-.- .. c ,i. "' ,F; b '

Jason Bennett displays a largemouth bass caught on the Manatee River in
Manatee County.

licensed saltwater piers or charter
boats, being exempt from licensing.
No one can dispute the facts and
figures. Florida remains the Fishing
Capital of the World because of great
resources and responsible
management. With a huge variety of
fish, fishing waters and fishing styles
to choose from, along with year-
round fishing weather, there is little
doubt that Florida will remain the
place to go fishing. You can help
ensure a vibrant future with high
quality, sustainable and safe fishing
opportunities by being an ethical
angler, mentoring a youth or friend
and keeping your license current.

Additional information and relevant
links are also posted the Florida Fish
and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) Frequently
Answered Questions page at
Click on "What is the value of
Florida's Fisheries?"

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more FishBuster columns.

Outstanding LAKEWATCH Volunteer

If you want to know about Bugg Spring,
located in Lake County, Florida off CR
470 West of Okahumpka you need to ask
Joe Branham. He came to live at Bugg
Springs with his father and mother in
1940 from Washington D.C. Joe is now
76 and for nearly 50 years he has lived on
the shore of Bugg Spring in his family
home, which dates back to 1923. As a
child he swam, fished and boated in the
spring and the mile long spring run that
connects to the Helena Run to Lake
Denham, which was at the end of the
Hart Line steamboat traffic on the
Palatlakaha chain and the original site of
the town of Okahumpka.

Joe left Bugg Spring to attend college at
the University of Florida and then Florida
State University, where he received 3
degrees in zoology, marine biology, and
experimental biology. While he
worked on his Ph.D. at FSU, he
spent two summers with his
young family at the Marine
Biological Laboratory in Woods
Hole, Massachusetts. In 1965, he
returned to Woods Hole as a
Lalor fellow and met Dr. Alan
Beatty of the Institute of Animal
Genetics in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Also in 1965 he received a
National Institute of Health Grant
to do post-doctorial work at the
University of Edinburgh. He
sailed from the United States
with his family, wife Margaret,
sons Russell and Charles aboard
the Empress of Canada to

The family spent two years in
Edinburgh while Joe worked on
problems of sperm motility and
capacitation in the lab of Nobel
Prize winner C.H. Waddington.
Next, they left Scotland for the
University of Hawaii in
Honolulu. While there Joe was
an assistant professor teaching
zoology courses in
developmental biology. His
research interests involved reef
ecology, primarily the effects of
the giant crown-of-thorns starfish Dr. Jo
on coral reef habitats of the Lake C


Hawaiian and Marshall Islands. His work
was published in Science and Bioscience
and several other journals. Returning to
the mainland they spent a year at the
University of Utah. There he researched
the stone fly larvae in the mountain rivers
around Salt Lake City. His work was
published in the Canadian Journal of
Zoology. Then the family returned to
Okahumpka where the family had a
citrus business. It was a very happy
homecoming for Joe because he could
introduce his boys to Bugg Spring, a
natural paradise he loved. Once back in
Lake County Joe was offered ajob
teaching at Leesburg High School his
Alma Mater. He was going to be a
substitute for one year while another
teacher was out on maternity leave, but
he stayed for 22 years. He taught biology,
chemistry, general science, and

Joe has been very active as a
conservationist in Lake County. He
has held many committee
chairmanships such as an advisory
member of the Lake County Water
Authority. He worked on the first
Lake County Comprehensive Plan, he
helped build Flat Island Nature Trail,
served on the Public Land
Acquisition Advisory Council of
Lake County, and served as a teacher
and worker at Trout Lake
Environmental Center. Joe has
collected over 220 samples for
LAKEWATCH since 1990 from
Bugg Spring. He has collected nearly
20 years of rainfall, water flow, and
lake level data to accompany the
nutrient data for Bugg Spring. He has
been an advocate for minimum flows
and levels that are being established
by the St. Johns River Water
Management District, and has
shared his scientific information
on Bugg Spring with other
scientists for years.

It is rare to have a professional
biologist consistently gathering
data on a unique water body,
such as Bugg Springs for this
long period of time. The 170
foot spring is one of the deepest
of Florida's beautiful springs
and Joe has carefully watched
and enjoyed its beauty and
natural history for many long
years. He is a model
environmental citizen that has
worked to preserve a natural
Florida gem and it is a pleasure
to have Joe as a LAKEWATCH
volunteer. Joe's dedication to
Bugg Spring goes beyond
anything we could have hoped
for from a volunteer when the
r program was created. We do
not come across volunteers like
3 Joe very often and commend
him for his time, energy and
5 continued service to

Branham with his "outstanding volunteer paddle at the 2008
countyy Regional meeting.

n C t D

- ~ .m

An aerial photo of a Walton County dune lake.

There are 18 named coastal
dune lakes in south Walton
County along 26 miles of
coastline. These coastal dune
lakes are extremely rare. In
Florida, they are found only in
the Florida Panhandle. Around
the world, coastal dune lakes
also exist in Madagascar,
Australia, New Zealand, the
northwest Pacific Coast of the
United States and South
Carolina. Florida
LAKEWATCH volunteers
have been sampling 15 of these
lakes over the last 10 years.

Coastal dune lakes are unique
and generally found within two
miles of the coast and are
typically shallow and
irregularly shaped. The water
is composed of both fresh and
salt water obtained from
groundwater seepage (in both
directions), heavy rain, and

storm surges. Most of the dune
lakes around the world are
called freshwater lakes with
varying periods of saltwater
intrusion. Lake water is
generally colored (e.g., tea or
black colored) due to watershed
contributions of dissolved
organic matter. While these
lakes are exposed to normal
weather conditions, coastal
dune lakes are tremendously
impacted by hurricane activity
(i.e., storm frequency, strength
and duration).

The coastal dune lakes of
Walton County have an
intermittent connection to the
Gulf of Mexico. This periodic
connection serves as control for
flood-level waters by opening a
conduit to the Gulf. When a
lake reaches a critical pre-flood
level, breaching water forms an
outlet through the dune system

and empties the lake water into
the Gulf. Depending on tides
and weather conditions, salt
water and biota from the Gulf
fills the void left behind by the
lowered water level of the lake
until equilibrium is reached and
the opening eventually closes.
This exchange forms a brackish
water-body, creating a
temporary estuarine ecosystem.
Each of the coastal dune lakes
has individual outlet
characteristics, with outlet
openings varying in length,
frequency and duration. These
openings occur based on each
lake's critical water level,
which is driven by droughts
and rainfall. As a result, some
of the lakes can be completely
freshwater, some brackish,
and/some salty, with varying
degrees between stages. The

(Continued on page 12)


Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
7922 NW 71st Street
Gainesville, FL 32653


This newsletter is generated by the Florida
LAKEWATCH program, within UF/IFAS Support
for the LAKEWATCH program is provided by the
Florida Legislature, grants and donations For more
information about LAKEWATCH, to inquire about
volunteer training sessions, or to submit materials for
inclusion in this publication, write to

Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
GanevilleFL 32653
E-mail fl-lakewatch@ufl edu
http //lakewatch ifas ufl edu/

All unsolicited articles, photographs, artwork or other
written material must include contributor's name,
address and phone number Opinions expressed are
solely those of the individual contributor and do not
necessarily reflect the opinion or policy of the Florida


Walton County Dune Lakes (Continued from page 11)

changing condition of water
chemistry in the coastal dune
lakes makes them biologically
diverse systems with a dynamic
nature. Walton County's
tremendous population growth,
especially in the vicinity of the
coastal dune lakes has raised
much concern over the "health"
of these exceptional systems.
For this reason, the Walton
County Board of County
Commissioners extended
provisions in the Walton
County Land Development
Code and Walton County
Comprehensive Plan for the
protection of the dune lakes.
Additionally, the County
Commission established the
Coastal Dune Lake Advisory
Board (CDLAB) in 2002. The

mission statement for this
advisory board is as follows:
"To serve, protect and
perpetuate the Coastal Dune
Lakes of Walton County
through mitigation of the
effects of development." The
CDLAB has several objectives,
which fall under three major
headings; 1) Action, 2)
Education and 3) Perpetual
Protection. One action item is
development of an action plan
(essentially a lake management
plan) for each lake. The
Choctawatchee Basin Alliance
has recently requested that
Florida LAKEWATCH help
with the development of this
management plan so stay
posted for updates on the