Director of Security
Grays' Aquatic Services
Lake Mohawk Property Owners Association
"Anyone who can solve the problems of water will be worthy of two Nobel prizes
one for peace and one for science"
John F. Kennedy - 1962
Updated September 8, 2017
Recent Lunker Catch!!
5.32 lb Largemouth Bass
Blue-Green Algae (Cyanobacteria) Months
A natural occurrence in all lakes is a process called
"Algal Succession". Algal succession is nothing more than a change
in microscopic plant (phytoplankton) species that occur in the water
throughout the season. (just like plants change on land)
Figure 19 below illustrates what types
of phytoplankton species are most prevalent throughout the season. As
you can see, the "Blue-Greens" increase in July, peak in August, and then
decline in September. Warm water conditions along with nutrients such
as phosphorus are conducive to blue-green algal growth.
Several important facts to remember about blue-green algae include:
1) This group of algae is present throughout the entire season (Jan-Dec) which "blooms" in July, August, and September.
2) SOME blue-green algae have the potential to secrete a variety of toxins that can affect skin, eyes, liver, etc..
A few simple preventative measure can avoid most all ill affects of blue-green toxins.
a) Do not drink lake water. Lake water is not potable and therefore can always
have the potential to contain a variety of organisms that can adversely affect human or animal health regardless of blue-green algae concentrations.
b) Rinse off with fresh water following water contact with lake water. This
simple procedure is always a good idea regardless of apparent lake water conditions
3) Avoid areas of surface accumulations of blue-green algae.
These areas often appear as though green paint is floating on the water.
Blue-Green Algae (Cyanobacteria) Suppression Lake Treatments
In order to reduce the level and intensity of blue-green algae blooms within
Lake Mohawk, whole or partial blue-green treatments with a copper based algaecide
will be applied at appropriate times. The application of this algaecide may cause the water to turn a slight AQUA BLUE. This blue coloration is from the cell contents
of the blue-green algae as it ruptures from the algaecide treatment. It is not caused
from the algaecide itself. The aqua blue coloration is one distinct sign that the algaecide has been effective in SUPPRESSING the algae bloom. NOTE: There will
ALWAYS be some level of algae within the lake even with the proper application
of the algaecide.
Nuisance Aquatic Plant Treatments
Treatment has begun for nuisance levels of primarily Naiad species within the lake. Chemical control measures are being applied to areas that create nuisance conditions for lakefront property owners in addition to lake users. Discretion is used in the treatment of aquatic plants due to the fact that aquatic plants do help naturally control blue-green algae blooms in addition to providing other benefits relating to fish habitat, shoreline and sediment stabilization and nutrient control.
Nuisance Aquatic Plant/Algae Control Information
Please be informed that treatment for nuisance aquatic plants
(primarily curlyleaf pondweed - CLP) began on May 10th.
The southern end of the lake currently has surface growth of CLP
and was treated on May 17th. The lake will be clear and free of
nuisance aquatic growth in these areas by May 24th.
Curlyleaf pondweed as you may know is a Spring plant that
senesces (dies off) naturally by mid to late June. Regardless,
because there are many early recreational lake members of the
L.M.P.O.A., the lake is treated in specific areas for this aquatic plant.
Ecological importance - This plant plays an important role to the overall fisheries ecology of the lake.
Lake Management Strategy and Mission Statement
By working with "Mother Nature", you can enhance the recreational value of freshwater aquatic ecosystems such as Lake Mohawk. Selective and judicial use of aquatic herbicides which promotes natural competition from native low growing aquatic plants is part of an integrated approach to improving property values, sport fisheries, as well as recreational usage from skiers, pleasure boaters, etc.. Studying and controlling the sources of phosphorus will also naturally reduce or eliminate the threat of toxic blue-green (cyanobacteria) algae blooms. The Lake Management Committee , consisting of dedicated members of the L.M.P.O.A. from a variety of backgrounds is vital to the success of any lake management program. Your support for this group of people is truly appreciated.
My mission at Lake Mohawk is to serve, share knowledge, and answer all questions about the aquatic ecosystem that is the focal point of this beautiful lake community. It is my desire to further enhance the existing fisheries while minimizing any negative impacts this may have on recreational boating, etc.. Above all, I am here to serve the greater good of the Lake Mohawk Property Owners Association and will at anytime be available to answer questions or to respond to concerns or observations regarding lake conditions. E-mail: JeffGray@GraysAquatic.com or Cell: 330.412.4139
Health & Economic$
Human health and property values of ALL L.M.P.O.A. members are affected by the water quality of Lake Mohawk. In order to understand the various factors that have the most impact on the lake, I have constructed a diagram of interactions that exist between property owners, lake users, aquatic plants, blue-green algae, phosphorus, and copper.
Blue-green algae (photo below - microscopic "plant like" bacteria) blooms are potentially harmful to humans and wildlife due to the production of toxins under certain conditions. The severity of health impact depends on the type of toxin as well as the route of entry (ingested) or location of contact (skin/eyes). Blue-green algae may also negatively impact the ecology of the lake (i.e. fishing) by reaching a point where it shades out light to bottom growing beneficial plants. For this reason, controlling blue-green algae in a manner that does not jeopardize the long term "health" of the lake (which directly affects property values) is the primary lake management objective at Lake Mohawk.
NOTE: The dredging plan being proposed will not only deepen the lake but also serve to
remove years of accumulated phosphorus* and copper* from the lake bottom.
*Less phosphorus results in less intense and/or frequent blue-green algae blooms
*Less algal blooms results in less copper use for algae control
*Less copper use saves money and preserves the aquatic ecology of Lake Mohawk
*A healthy lake without sedimentary contamination of excessive copper equates into higher property values
The Relationship between Aquatic Plants & Water Clarity
I believe it is important to have a basic
understanding of the important role of submersed aquatic plants as it relates to water clarity.
While many of us may know about the importance of aquatic plants to fish populations, it is
lesser known about how aquatic plants help maintain water clarity and purity.
Besides providing food and habitat for fish, aquatic plants stabilize lake sediments that are
high in phosphorus. Phosphorus that is mixed up from wind, wave, and other recreational
watercraft traffic "feed" undesirable algal blooms that reduce water clarity. In addition,
aquatic plants utilize and compete for available phosphorus making it less available to
the tiny planktonic algae. There is also some evidence that aquatic plants
secrete inhibitory chemicals that reduce algal blooms.
Our lake management goal at Lake Mohawk is to balance the needs and wants of a
variety of recreational users and property owners throughout the season without jeopardizing
the long term health of the lake. Using aquatic plants as much as possible to
reduce the intensity of algal blooms, reduces the need for ecologically undesirable algaecides.
Throughout the 2017 lake season, nuisance levels of aquatic plants will be selectively
controlled in specific areas where it most interferes with recreational use of the lake.
Lake Mohawk Depth Map
(Click to Enlarge in PDF Format)
Visitors to this page for 2017
Grays' Aquatic Services
Jeff Gray M.S
Applied Aquatic Biologist
Includes Historical Data
(Click on WU Graphic Below)