On June 4th, after a week of clear-water conditions in Lake Mendota, some of us here at Hasler Lab decided that our window for swimming in clear water was closing. So we decided to take an up-close and personal reading of conditions.
It turns out that our timing was perfect for a refreshing (read: cold) dip. After peaking at a Secchi depth of more than 7 meters (meaning that’s how far down you could see into the lake from the surface), things started getting a little murkier on Lake Mendota yesterday. A reading from the middle of the lake came back at right around 5 meters. That still put the lake in “clear-water” phase, as any reading deeper than 4 meters qualifies.
But, today, June 5th, after a full week of clear conditions, the Secchi couldn’t even make it 3 meters off of our pier before disappearing from view. Official reading? 2.75 meters. Official verdict? 2015 clear-water phase has come to a close.
But that doesn’t mean you still can’t help us #monitormendota! Send Secchi readings, pictures, videos, anything showing us the current state of the lake to firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter or Instagram @WiscLimnology. Bonus points if you choose the “full immersion” option like we did!
Happy Friday! (We’ll get fish back on the menu next week!)