Florida Lake Management Society Annual Conference, Naples, Florida, June 4 – 7, 2007
LAKE SEMINOLE – A LIVING LABORATORY FOR ASSESSING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF MULTIPLE LAKE MANAGEMENT ACTIONS
Kelli Levy Pinellas County Department of Environmental Management Doug Robison PBS&J, Inc. Tampa, FL
Lake Seminole is a 684-acre freshwater lake located in west central Pinellas County, Florida. It was created by the impoundment of an arm of Long Bayou, an estuarine waterbody, in the 1940s. Water quality and sport fisheries began to decline during the late 1970s, the trend continued into the late 1990s. Since 1999, water quality conditions in the lake have degraded even further to the point where the trophic state index is now consistently greater than 78.
The Lake Seminole Watershed Management Plan identified and modeled the predicted improvement associated with numerous lake restoration and management projects and programs. Since the adoption of the Plan in 2004, the County has begun implementation of several major capital improvement projects including: 1) retrofitting of the five highest nutrient loading sub- basins with alum injection stormwater treatment systems; 2) alum treatment and diversion of flows from the Lake Seminole Bypass Canal into the lake; 3) excavation of nuisance shoreline vegetation and muck sediments followed by replanting with desirable native species; 4) lake level modification and 5) dredging of 1 million cubic yards of flocculent organic sediments. All projects and programs in the Plan are expected to be implemented or completed by 2012.
Pinellas County implemented a statistically robust water quality and biological monitoring program. Monitoring will allow for an opportunity to quantitatively and qualitatively assess the effectiveness of multiple lake management actions. This paper will present a brief history of Lake Seminole, a summary of the Plan, and an update on the observed and predicted improvements in lake water quality and biological communities.
Session 6B – Page 6