Lake Erie is the most important lake in the world but it is facing some challenges.
The first part of the 2011 CTIC Conservation In Action Tour allowed us to get a first hand look at and learn more about the Great Lake and the Maumee River and Bay that feed it.
Jeff Reutter, Director of Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory at Ohio State University says Lake Erie is very different than the other four great lakes. “The other lakes are all in excess of 750 feet deep while the deepest spot in Lake Erie is 210 feet. The average depth of the whole western basin is only 24 feet, so it’s really a shallow lake.” Jeff says Lake Erie has only two percent of the water of all the Great Lakes combined, but 50% of the fish.
It’s also the most southern and the warmest of the lakes, which makes it a breeding ground for algae. “Because we have a lot of agriculture and cities around the basin, we end up with a lot of nutrients coming into the lake. If you put fertilizer on crops, the crops do really well, if you put fertilizer out in Lake Erie, the algae does really well.”
Jeff was pleased to have the opportunity to have this agricultural group tour the area and see the proactive steps the industry can take to reduce runoff and still maintain productivity.
Listen to my interview with Jeff here: Jeff Reutter, Ohio Sea Grant Director
Check out the photo album from the CTIC Tour, which started with a boat tour of the Maumee River and out into Lake Erie. On Tuesday, we will be touring agricultural operations in the area to see the innovative conservation practices they are implementing.
CTIC 2011 Conservation in Action TourAgWired coverage of the CTIC Indian Creek Watershed Field Tour is sponsored by AGROTAIN