Water quality status of Miller Lake

Osmond, D. S.
Michalski, M. F.
Westwood, J. D.
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Ontario Ministry of the Environment

Miller Lake is a small, shallow recreational lake set in Niagara Escarpment dolomite in the Bruce Peninsula. A summer sports fishery exists for smallmouth bass and pike. At present, intensive cottage and resort development is limited to the northwest shoreline of the lake. Further development is imminent at the shallow west end. A brief study of general water quality in Miller Lake was conducted during July, August and September 1972. Somewhat reduced water clarity appeared to be the result of suspension of loose bottom sediments by wind-induced water movements rather than the production of excessive algae populations. Virtually complete circulation of lake water by prevailing winds was also evinced by the homogeneity of temperature and dissolved oxygen concentrations in surface through bottom waters. Through comparisons of chlorophyll a data from Miller Lake with values from other recreational lakes, Miller Lake appeared to be at most, moderately enriched. However, recreational activities would not be hampered by present levels of production of phytoplankton and aquatic weeds. Phosphorus concentrations were found to be low and would not be expected to promote nuisance levels of aquatic plant growth. This brief study suggests that density of cottages and related recreational pressure are more important than water quality considerations in considering the advisability of further development on Miller Lake. Utilizing one documented approach for an estimate of the carrying capacity of a recreational lake, it was concluded that with development of areas which have already received provincial approval, Miller Lake has already attained its carrying capacity.

Ontario Ministry of the Environment
Other O.M.E. Environmental Reports
water quality, water clarity, bottom sediment, chlorophyll a, phytoplankton, aquatic weeds, phosphorus, shoreline development