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Ongoing project: Food web changes in Onondaga Lake

Lars Rudstam, Chris Hotaling, Dave Matthews, Chris Gandino, Janaki Suryadevara (Funded by Onondaga County, NY) 

Onondaga Lake, known as one of the most polluted lakes in the US in the 1980s, is recovering through the efforts of the Onondaga County Water Environment Agency and Honeywell. CBFS is involved with analysis of lower trophic levels, including phytoplankton, zooplankton and dreissenid mussels. We also conduct a survey of the alewife population each year- in 2015 this survey was in early June. The 2014 data is incorporated in the Ambient Management Plan report produced by Onondaga County in cooperation with Upstate Freshwater Institute and CBFS. Water clarity in the lake is affected by zooplankton grazing and mussel filtering. Zooplankton in turn is affected by fish predation, particularly alewife. We are using these data to investigating the relative importance of grazing by zooplankton and mussels in a stratified lake to compare with the same interactions in Oneida Lake. We are also involved with overseeing the sampling program through the Onondaga Lake Technical Advisory Board (Mills and Rudstam).