Schroon Lake Mapping Project
Schroon Lake is a major Adirondack Lake bordering Northern Warren County and Southern Essex County. It is approximately 9 miles long and over one mile wide at the widest point. The lake surface area is over 4,000 acres and has a shoreline of 24 miles. This summer the Adirondack Park Invasive Prevention Program, the Schroon Lake Association, and the East Shore Schroon Lake Association, funded by a grant from the Cloudsplitter foundation, partnered to map the bottom of Schroon Lake. The mapping project includes water depth, measured in two foot increments, vegetation growth, and bottom density. The goal was to find areas of the lake that might be subject to plant growth and sedimentation.
The process of mapping includes a Lowrance Elite TI2 chartplotter sonar device, a small boat that can navigate in shallow water, and at speeds of less than 5 miles per hour. The device maps a 30 foot wide path and records the data on a small disk. The contents of the disk is then uploaded to the Bio Base Corporation data base where it is converted to depth, vegetation, and density maps and reports.
This summer, with the help of five volunteers, the riparian area of the lake from the narrows north has been mapped and uploaded. The west channel of Brill Island to the southern boat launch was also mapped. Much remains to be done, but the survey can be completed next season.
The survey found that the lake has numerous piles of glacial till on the bottom that create shallow areas that can support milfoil growth. Multiple points in the west channel of Brill Island and in Skylark Cove were noted and then explored by our dive team. Milfoil was found in these locations in small amounts. Also noted were areas of sedimentation, especially around the northern Schroon River entrance, near “Dog Island”. The Sandy bottom in that area goes from very shallow to over 50 feet deep in a very short distance, as if a wall of sand is moving into the lake. These areas should be reexamined next season.
More work is needed in the southern basin and additional training with Bio Base to get the full benefit of the software.