The blue waters of Lake Tahoe are making a significant comeback.
In the year By the latter half of 2022, “Lake Tahoe has been the clearest it has been since the 1980s,” he said. 2022 Lake Tahoe Transparency Report The transparency released Monday said the image reached about 72 feet using a Secchi disk to measure visibility in the water.
UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center scientists said the improved clarity was “due in part to a revival of the lake’s native zooplankton,” researchers said in the report. “They’ve brought in natural cleaners to help restore the lake’s famous blue waters.”
Native zooplankton are tiny, microscopic animals. Since the 1960s, zooplankton populations have declined due to the growth of a primary predator, the Mysis shrimp. Zooplankton, especially Daphnia and Bosmina, have fallen to dangerously low levels in recent years and are set to hit record lows in 2021.
Despite the low zooplankton levels, the lake was still clearer in 2021 than the worst year of 2017. In the year Clarity in 2021 was the second worst on record at a depth of 61 feet.
The amount of particles in the lake also hit a record high in 2021, scientists found that particles from wildfires caused an increase in particles and, therefore, lower clarity. Zooplankton are important to keeping the lake clear because they eat the particles that clog the lake.
Lake Tahoe returned in 2022, reaching an average annual clarity of 71.7 feet.
“We expect the impact of Daphnia and Bosmina to increase in 2023, and clarity may return to 1970s levels — even with higher flows from this year’s record ice pack,” said Brant Allen, the research center’s boat captain.
Officials in California and Nevada aim to restore the lake’s clarity to its historic 97.4 feet, the report said.
Mrs. Shrimp populations are expected to grow again, threatening zooplankton, which means population control measures must be implemented to maintain the lake’s clarity, researchers warn.
More information about Tahoe Transparency is expected in Tahoe Environmental Research Center 2023. The lake condition report is expected to be released in July.