Champlain Report Details Health of Lake

The recently released 2018 State of the Lake Report reveals, among other findings, that no new invasive species have been found in Lake Champlain since 2014. On the negative side, phosphorus levels in many parts of the lake remain high. The Report is created every 3 years through a partnership between the states of Vermont and New York, and the Canadian province of Quebec, to monitor the health of the lake and its more than 8,000-square-mile watershed.

Vermont’s aggressive invasive species program has reduced the spread of water chestnut that once choked more than 25% of the southern end of Lake Champlain. Additionally, the state’s long-term sea lamprey management program has led to a significant decrease in the numbers of this fish-killing invasive species.

The report also shows that the lake’s juvenile lake trout population nearly doubled from 2016 to 2017, and for the first time in a century landlocked Atlantic salmon have begun to reproduce naturally in the Winooski River.

Phosphorous overloading continues to be a major problem, however, leading to harmful cyanobacteria blooms. Phosphorus levels are highest in Missisquoi Bay, South Lake and St. Albans Bay, areas that face a potent combination of shallow water and heavy agricultural runoff.