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PRIEST LAKE, BONNER COUNTY, IDAHO - DIAGNOSTIC ANALYSIS, 1993-1995
This document reports the findings of the baseline water quality studies conducted from March 1993 to September 1995 at Priest Lake in Bonner County, Idaho (17010215). The following conclusions were developed. Open water areas of Upper and Lower Priest Lakes can be classified as oligotrophic. Lake waters of shallow nearshore sampling sites showed no indication of nutrient enrichment linked to onshore human development. Both lakes do exhibit a marked decline in water clarity during tributary spring runoff. Phytoplankton growth in Priest Lake may be co-limited by phosphorus and nitrogen at least during summer months. Attached algae growth in the littoral zone of many Priest Lake shoreline areas appears excessive given the low nutrient content of ambient nearshore waters. The primary nutrient fueling sources relating to attached algae biomass were not determined. Phosphorus, nitrogen , and sediment loading from various sources into Priest Lake was determined as low to moderate, except that loading per area of runoff from some residential areas can be high. Some isolated areas of ground water sampling indicated an altering of background water quality by sewage effluent plumes. Project consultants consider human induced nutrients and sediments as a potential threat for deterioration of Priest Lake water quality. Rothrock, G.C. and D.T. Mosier. 1997. Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Division of Environmental Quality, Boise, ID. 199 pp.