The LMEC has contracted with the United States Geological Survey to pull core samples from five different sites across the Lake Maxinkuckee lakebed. This information will be used to analyse 200 to 300 years of data collected from the sediment. It should allow LMEC to track their progress in managing phosphorus flow into the lake over the last 32 years, and if we should be planning on ways to circumvent a major algae bloom. Council Chair Allen Chesser has a couple of concerns. One is that phosphorus-laden fertilizers had been swept into the lake from corn and soybean fields, as well as lawns, during heavy rainstorms for many, many years. Two, leaking septic systems around the lake were also adding phosphorus during this time, some homes simply draining directly into the lake. Culver’s sewer system and storm water system have had a history of overflow problems, again allowing phosphorus pollution to flow into the lake from the town itself. While phosphate laundry detergents and dish soap were banned in past years, commercial dish soap still contains phosphorus to this day so this was also a concern if sewer overflows happened. With the drought over the past couple of years, water has not been flowing out of the lake as regularly as it used to, so LMEC is concerned about possible algae blooms if this weather style continues. Algae blooms deprive the water of oxygen, which in turn can result in fish kills and the death of other aquatic organisms.
Today, with the finalization of sewer line installation around the lake, as well as the voluntary controls being applied regarding fertilizers being used in the community, can be considered a base line for determining where we stand. About 50 trace minerals will also be targeted for analysis. Once all the data has been written up, LMEC can use the information to implement its update to the watershed management plan for the next ten years.
You will find when you click on the link below, a brief explanation from one of the members of the United States Geographical Survey team in Indianapolis on how to interpret the various numbers used to record the legal level of lakes, specifically our lake. It is great information and includes a second page with their chart showing data from January 2011 to November 2012 collected here at their lake gage. This will be updated as soon as they have all of 2012 data available. Direct from USGS’ Jeff Woods
Click “View” below for Utube video.
DO NOT position your downspouts so that they run directly to the lake or directly onto the roads or sidewalks. All water that falls on impervious surfaces should be first allowed to percolate through the ground before entering the groundwater or the lake to remove nutrients and sediment.
Yes, your roof and driveway get dirty. So do the roads and the sidewalks. When it rains the dirt (sediments and nutrients) either runs into the ground (a good thing) or directly into the town’s stormwater lines which empty into the lake. Some of you pipe it directly into the lake itself (honestly, not a very good thing). Please move or remove any piping that goes directly into the lake or into a storm drain unless it first runs through a sediment trap (L1 district) or the ground itself. Thanks!
Maxinkuckee is an Indian word which has been loosely translated to “diamond lake,”, “clear water,” or “gravelly bottom.” An exact translation is not known. Lake Maxinkuckee is a 1,864 acre kettle lake located in the southwest corner of Marshall County in Union Township and was formed approximately 15,000 years ago by the receding glaciers. Kettle lakes are depressions in the earth’s crust left behind after partially buried ice blocks melt and the depression is filled with water. The lake is 2.6 miles long and 1.6 miles wide with a maximum depth of 88 feet and an average depth of 24 ft. (source – Lake Maxinkuckee Watershed Management Plan, page 11)
There lies beneath the lake one of the best producing aquifer systems in Indiana known as the productive Silurian-Devonian bedrock aquifer. This system contains deposits of glacial material up to 500 feet in thickness with highly productive inter-till sand and gravel aquifers. Lake Maxinkuckee is fed by 21 underground springs stemming from this aquifer.
Between 1899 and 1985 seventeen investigations were conducted on Lake Maxinkuckee. The most extensive survey of the lake was that of the United States Bureau of Fisheries, which maintained a field station on the lake between 1899 and 1914. Known as the Evermann & Clark survey, this two-volume set was published in 1920 by the Indiana Department of Conservation. Except for one 1921 sampling by the Indiana State Board of Health; no other data was found before 1965. From 1965 to today however, Lake Maxinkuckee has had over 60 individual research studies done by various organizations including the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Indiana University, Purdue University as well as many studies commissioned by the Lake Maxinkuckee Environmental Council. Armed with this wealth of research and testing, the Lake Maxinkuckee Environmental Council has been instrumental in protecting and preserving the lake and its watershed for more than thirty years. Today, due to these efforts, Lake Maxinkuckee is judged to be in an almost pristine state by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Controlling the growth of invasive weeds, both in the lake and in its watershed; preventing damaging sediment and nutrients from entering the waters of the lake; diminishing lake turbulence which stirs up the lake bottom, re-releasing phosphorus into the water; continuous testing for dangerous bacteria and monitoring algae growth – all of these types of projects are done on an on-going basis by the Lake Maxinkuckee Environmental Council (LMEC) to maintain the lake’s water quality. Other projects include educating the public on how to protect the lake – as well as how to enjoy it through fishing, canoeing, and kayaking; assisting universities with temperature studies; building wetlands, and also conducting entomology and avian studies. Every year, the LMEC reviews the needs of our lake and its watershed, investigating projects for following years. Whether it is building a boardwalk through the Kline wetlands or developing a nature center – both ideas to assist in public education; or taking core samples from the lake bottom to investigate the diatoms and cynobacteria, as well as measuring trace metals and phosphorus (a project just completed in 2013/2014) – all of these things are possibilities for the future.
News was received on December 5, 2012 that a land trust the Lake Maxinkuckee Environmental Fund has been working on for a little more than a year has been accepted by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity. This is wonderful news for Lake Maxinkuckee. A new non-profit partnership has been formed to help safe-guard the wonders and beauty of this natural resource.
From this point forward, the Lake Maxinkuckee Conservancy Foundation can accept gifts of land deemed to be sensitive or beneficial to the lake. The LMCF will manage and protect all lands in its possession for future generations to come, thereby protecting the beautiful lake we have been so gifted with in our community.
All land donations will benefit the donor by receiving tax deductible status under IRS guidelines.
Land can be accepted directly, either as an “unrestricted gift” or as a “restricted gift”. Non-development Easements or Conservation Easements will also be considered. Please contact the Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.