Water Stewardship Information Sources

Citation Nordin, R. 2015. Water quality sampling program for Elk Lake 2014-2015: Overview, sataus and phosphorous budget. Prepared for Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC and Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.
Organization Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC
URL http://ssiwatersheds.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Elk-Lake-R-Nordin-Final-June-18.pdf
Abstract/Description or Keywords Detailed water quality sampling of Elk Lake in 2014-15 shows continued deterioration of
the aquatic environment that may put the lake's many recreational values at serious risk.
This was the first comprehensive sampling of the lake in more than 20 years; it resulted
from an initiative of the Victoria Golden Rods & Reels Society (VGRRS) that led to a coordinated
program involving the BC Ministry of the Environment, the Capital Regional
District, the District of Saanich and the Victoria City Rowing Club. The last major study of
the lake was conducted by the Ministry of the Environment in 1988 and published in 1992.
It found that water quality was already at unacceptable levels and recommended
remediation and continued monitoring. Due to a lack of progress toward remediation, the
Ministry had ceased detailed monitoring by 1995.
This report analyzes most of the results of the 2014-15 sampling program and focuses on
the internal loading of nutrients. Almost all of the key measurements are substantially
worse than those reported in previous sampling results. In an environment like Elk Lake,
this problem can become self-perpetuating, resulting in
 More oxygen depletion in the cool, deep levels, reducing fish habitat and the growth
of lake-bottom organisms that are food sources for fish, and aiding the release of
chemicals, particularly phosphorus, that would otherwise remain locked in bottom
 Increasing frequency of algae blooms, which are dominated by toxic cyanobacteria
that are poisonous to humans and their pets;
 Accelerated growth of lake weeds, which impede swimmers, rowers, boaters and
anglers, as well as adding to the already high levels of detrimental substances like
phosphorus and organic carbon.
Information Type report
Regional Watershed Vancouver Island South
Sub-watershed if known Elk Lake
Aquifer #
Project status complete
Contact Name
Contact Email