State of Lake Winnipeg: 1999 to 2007

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Environment Canada
Manitoba Water Stewardship
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Environment Canada and Manitoba Water Stewardship
The quality of Lake Winnipeg waters has deteriorated over time, with particular concern arising over the last few decades in response to the effects of accelerated nutrient enrichment. The frequency and intensity of algal blooms in the lake have increased in association with rising phosphorous and nitrogen loading from diffuse and point sources in the Lake Winnipeg watershed. The Province of Manitoba and the Government of Canada have recognized the need to address nutrient enrichment in Lake Winnipeg and progress has been made under the provincial Lake Winnipeg Action Plan and the federal Lake Winnipeg Basin Initiative to address these issues. While much information has been collected on Lake Winnipeg since 1999, before this report there has been no systematic attempt to summarize these data to form a greater understanding of changes seen more recently in the lake and to establish a baseline for the future. The goal of this report is to present the recent state of knowledge on the Lake Winnipeg aquatic ecosystem as it pertains to eutrophication. This synthesis of research and monitoring on Lake Winnipeg in recent years is a collaborative effort amongst numerous federal and provincial agencies, universities, and independent researchers. The objectives of this report are to describe the temporal and spatial variation in Lake Winnipeg's physical, chemical, and biological characteristics, based on data collected primarily between 1999 to 2007, to explore current and emerging issues of concern to the health and integrity of Lake Winnipeg, and to highlight recent research on the lake. This recent baseline information is intended for use in the future development of performance indicators and nutrient objectives for Lake Winnipeg and its watershed.
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Lake Winnipeg, Watershed, algae, biological data, biological monitoring, Nutrients, physical environment, Sediment