Watershed Management

Watershed Management

The following is a summary. For a more specific plan for Highland Lake, click on Highland Lake Watershed Association Lake Management Plan.

Preserving the Waterbodies
The watershed of a lake or other waterbody is that land area which drains toward the water. The watershed is the source of water for the lakes, streams, and ponds within its boundary. The quality of the water in these bodies of water is largely determined by the materials carried over the land surface, by underground water, and by tributary streams.

Water entering Highland Lake carries nutrients which fertilize the lake and promote the growth of aquatic plants and algae. Particles of sand and other materials also flow off the watershed into the lake and settle to the bottom as sediments. Sediments make the lake shallower, reduce the water’s oxygen, and generally cause the water to decline in quality.

Phosphorous and nitrogen are the two most important nutrients which wash off the watershed into the lake. They cause weeds and algae to grow, which reduces the clarity of the water, may cause odors, affects the fish population, and are a nuisance to people who fish, boat, or swim in the water. The amount of oxygen affects the lake’s ability to keep fish alive and is used to help decompose aquatic weeds.

Watershed management is largely concerned with the amount of phosphorous, nitrogen, and sediment which is washed off the watershed into the waterbodies it surrounds.

If we work together, we can prevent damage to the watershed. Prevention and conservation are usually much less costly approaches to watershed management than restoration. Land that has been misused through such actions as removing all trees from an area (clear cutting), streams and rivers which have had chemicals or other wastes dumped into them, and lakes which have had severe erosion wash nutrients and sediments into them usually have to be restored, if possible.

We ask for your cooperation in using this guide to do whatever you can to help preserve our watershed.

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