photo courtesy of Jim Haist

The Indiana Clean Lakes Program was created in 1989 and is administered through a grant to Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) in Bloomington.  The goal is to collect data to identify water quality trends, identify lakes that need special management and track water quality improvements.

Lake Maxinkuckee has been collecting data for this program for decades. Dan Baughman is our current Clean Lakes Program volunteer and has been collecting data for several years. Profile measurements of dissolved oxygen and temperature are taken a 1 meter intervals at the deepest part of the lake, from the surface to the bottom.  Water samples for chemical analysis are collected as well as a secchi disk reading, which measures water clarity.  From this data, the overall trophic level of the lake can be determined. 

” Trophic ” means nutrition or growth.

A eutrophic (“well-nourished”) lake has high nutrients and high plant growth. An oligotrophic lake has low nutrient concentrations and low plant growth. Mesotrophic lakes fall somewhere in between eutrophic and oligotrophic lakes.

Lake Maxinkuckee 2020 Data:

Secchi Disk Trophic State Index (TSI) Value                         45.95
Chlorophyll-a Trophic State Index (TSI) Value                     41.70
Total Phosphorus Trophic State Index (TSI) Value             38.73

Based on these numbers and the chart below, can you determine the 2020 trophic level of Lake Maxinkuckee? 

Carlson’s Trophic State Index (TSI)

If you said Mesotrophic, borderline Oligotrophic you would be correct! This is a good place for the lake to be in and good information to have, but the million-dollar question is:

Is the Trophic State Index, or TSI, of Lake Maxinkuckee getting better or worse?

The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers, he’s one who asks the right questions.  

Claude Levi-Strauss

I’m working on compiling data into an easy to read chart that will answer that question so stay tuned!