In 2011, Sierra Institute compiled and analyzed historical water quality data for Lake Almanor going back as far as the 1970s in some instances. The goal of this report was to: (1) develop a database of water quality data; (2) examine trends to understand the general health of the lake; (3) create recommendations for future monitoring. You can download a PDF of the report by clicking here.
The University of California – Davis completed a report card that assesses the biophysical conditions in the North Fork Feather River watershed based on monitoring information provided by the USFS, PG&E, and others.
Water Quality Monitoring
The Plumas County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, in conjunction with LAWG provides oversight for monitoring. Due to the limited funds available for this project, LAWG selected some of the important parameters that had been monitored in the past by California Department of Water Resources (DWR), the County of Plumas and Pacific Gas & Electric Company.
With another year of monitoring, this year’s LAWG sampling, conducted by Dr. Gina Johnston, adds another year of data to enable an examination of longer-term trends in Lake Almanor. The LAWG Water Quality Subcommittee works with Dr. Johnston to identify what and when to sample to assess the water quality of the lake. Read the 2014 report.
“Dr. Johnston’s work is a result of the community’s commitment to maintain a vigilant watch over the lake,” said Aaron Seandel, LAWG member and director of the Water Quality subcommittee. “Funds came from the county as well as various community organizations around the lake because these communities are committed to monitoring.”
Water quality monitoring at Lake Almanor dates back to the 1960s. Due to funding and other limitations, important water quality parameters have been monitored inconsistently over much of the period of record and by multiple agencies (primarily California Department of Water Resources and Pacific Gas & Electric) resulting in a disconnected database. Sierra Institute has collected data from various agencies that have monitored the lake over the years to create a comprehensive database for use in identifying and analyzing long-term trends.
For information on more recent monitoring results, please check out our Resources Page.
Quagga and Zebra Mussel Prevention
To maintain its mussel-free status and protect Lake Almanor from infestation, the LAWG and the Sierra Institute contributed to the development of outreach and education efforts concerning the threat of invasive zebra and quagga mussels. The impacts of invasive mussels result in approximately $1 billion per year in damage and control costs across the country.
The abundant offspring of these mussels (up to 1 millions eggs each spawning season) and the ability of the mussels to travel from lake to lake via boats and ballast water make zebra and quagga mussels a threat to invade Lake Almanor, and other area lakes. Once established, the mussels filter plankton from water, altering the natural food chain, and can reach a density of 700,000 per square meter.
During the summer of 2013, effort included a survey of lake user habits, to help ensure that future efforts and resources are allocated based on the usage patterns and characteristics of lake users and the community, and presentations about invasive mussels to various community groups. PG&E, who manages Lake Almanor, has taken on the role of ensuring that this important waterbody remains clear of these damaging invaders.
To learn more and get involved in LAWG activities, please contact Watershed Coordinator Courtney Gomola, or call 284-1022.