On September 26, 2019, Ron Gerrits presented the January 2019 Comprehensive Lake Management Plan for Bullhead Lake at the Manitowoc County Lakes Association members’ meeting at the Manitowoc County Office building @ 4319 Expo Drive.
This is his summary of Bullhead Lake Update:
The January 2019 Comprehensive Lake Management Plan for Bullhead Lake (available at Bullheadlake.com) documents a rapidly degrading lake ecosystem in which measures of water quality (e.g. phosphorous and chlorophyll), plant ecology (e.g. plant diversity, floristic quality), dissolved oxygen levels, and water clarity are worsening. The plan identifies the most likely cause of the changes to be internal nutrient loading, in which phosphorous contained in the bottom sediment is being released back into the water column at a high rate. The most obvious result is the tremendous growth of algae and decreased water clarity that the lake is experiencing during summer months. At times, the lake surface is covered with several acres of filamentous algae. These changes to the lake are reducing aesthetic quality, the ability to enjoy recreational activities, and property values.
The Lake Management plan recommended further study to verify that internal nutrient loading is the main culprit of water quality changes and, if that is the case, to pursue an alum (aluminum sulfate) treatment to remove phosphorous from the water column and permanently trap it in the bottom sediment. For 2019, the Bullhead Lake Advancement Association, Inc. (BLAA) received a matching DNR grant to perform an advanced water quality study/alum feasibility study. Data collected to date verifies very high phosphorous levels in the bottom sediment. This data is being used to calculate an alum dose and final cost and is expected to be completed by November 2019. The BLAA is planning to apply for an alum treatment during the 2020 grant cycle, with hopes that an alum treatment would occur in fall of 2020.
More details can be found on the Manitowoc County Lakes Association website, http://www.manitowoccountylakesassociation.org/meeting-minutes/