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Environmental Research

Click here Bathymetric Map

Water quality can be affected by many things that happen within a watershed.  Buildings (impervious surfaces), trees (rain canopy), animals (waste materials, invasive types, overcrowding), plants (weed control, invasive species, chemicals), birds (protecting rookeries and nests to promote healthy “bug catchers” – yes, we’re including bats in this category), bugs (promoting the good – keeping out the bad), dumping/littering/chemical pollution (in the lake, wetlands, and the watershed itself), erosion (from every source -  storm water, farming, building), air quality (acid rain), air and ground temperatures (tracking all types of weather changes which affect water), and leaking septic systems to name a few. The following are links to some historical research done on our lake as well as some of the LMEC projects that we hope will allow us to “correct” or at least curtail some of the bad things that happen to this community’s greatest treasurer, the lake.  Also posted here are information pieces that stem from frequently asked questions.

Lake Maxinkuckee Survey Results Final    This herpetofauna survey was done by students from Purdue who are also members of the national Wildlife Society.  While we feel it may have missed a few species due to weather conditions (unusually cold spring) and some conditions (day only), it captures many of the species of frogs we have at Lake Max.  We also have Massasauga Rattlesnakes in our area as they have been sighted in the last three years in as many locations.  These small snakes have recently been added to the endangered watch list by EPA.

2016 Lake Maxinkuckee Septic Leachate Study    This study duplicates our 1993 Leachate Study and will be included in our 2016 Update of our Watershed Management Plan

Our thanks to IDNR personnel who undertook this all-encompassing report.  2014 Wildlife Science Annual Report

2015 FINAL REPORT – USGS Lakebed Study  This is the complete, two year research study into what our lakebed sediment can tell us – about the future.  Enjoy!

Historical Analysis of the Cultural Eutrophication of Lake Maxinkuckee IN    –  Thomas L. Crisman, 1984

2009 Kline Assessment Report – JFNew

2007 Lake Maxinkuckee Fish Mgmt Rpt IDNR

Bathymetric Map Lake Max 1900 – Blatchely map WATERSHED MAP graphic

Tier II Weed Map of Lake Max – Dec. 2012

THE LAKE MAXINKUCKEE WATERSHED MANAGEMENT PLAN, originally approved and funded by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, is the working guide for the LMEC. (You can find this plan in its entirety at the center tab on the homepage.)    The original document is now ten years old, with significant testing data as old as twelve years.    For that reason we undertook a complete update of the priorities/goals sections and also re-sampling the lake and all its tributaries for total phosphorus, soluble reactive phosphorus, total Kjeldahl nitrogen, nitrate-nitrogen, ammonia-nitrogen, chlorophyll a, transparency, and plankton.  Ninety percent of the project was funded by the Ralph C. Vonnegut, Jr. Family Foundation which is administered by the Marshall County Community Foundation.  Here is a link to that project summary published in one of our newsletters.   LMEC Fall Newsletter – test results   The completed update of our 2006 WMP will be available in late 2016 after it has been submitted to IDEM for their approvals.

Erosion Control Ordinance – 2007

FOAM ON THE LAKE  As with most liquids, water molecules are normally attracted to each other.  This attraction creates tension at the surface of the water, often referred to as a thing “skin,” which allows some insects to glide across it.  When leaves, twigs or other organic substances fall into the water and begin decaying, they release compounds known as surfacants.  This interaction breaks the surface tension, which in turn allows air to more easily mix with water and creates bubbles.  These bubbles congregate as natural foam.  However, not all foam is natural.  Certain man-made products, including detergents, can cause foam that is similar in appearance, but may be harmful to fish and other aquatic life.  Natural foam can occur on a windy day and can occur anytime of year.  Foam is usually harmless, but sometimes excess foam may be caused by too much phosphorus in the water.  Excess phosphorous can result in nuisance algae blooms, fish kills due to low dissolved oxygen from decomposition processes, and irregularities with the water’s taste and odor.

Natural foam usually appears as light tan or brown in color, but may be white; it smells earthy, fishy or has fresh cut grass odor; can occur over large areas and accumulate in large amounts, especially on windward shores, in coves and eddies, and dissipates fairly quickly, except when agitated (as in high wind conditions).  Unnatural foam from human activity usually appears white in color and gives off a fragrant, perfumed or soapy odor; and usually occurs over small area, localized near source of discharge.  Below is a photo of natural foam at the lake outlet during a very windy day.

MOSQUITO ControlMosquito larva control

DISEASES INVOLVING SEWAGEIndiana Department of Health

LOCAL E-COLI ISSUE SOLVED 2009 E coli Sampling Report – First Presented to County Health Dept.    Lake Maxinkuckee Project BoH Presentation – County Health Department  Lake Maxinkuckee Summary BOH 9-21-10 Final Report

DROUGHT DATA LINKS FROM 2012 FOR OUR AREA   aquaifer map plus text

USGS Lake Level records 1/2011 to 11/2012    USGS Lake Levels 11/2012 – 12/2012   topsoil-statewide-statistics-0701

PURDUE TEMPERATURE STUDY,  BACKGROUND DATA   2008 Power Point Explaining Computer Modeling and Initial Project Scope    State Geologist’s 25th annual report – excerpts re temp study 1900

1993 SURVEY OF SEPTIC SYSTEMS ON LAKE MAXINKUCKEE   septic survey 1993