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Surface of lake covered in floating 'stuff'


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#1 philocalist

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 11:18 AM

I think most anglers will be familiar with the phenomenon we see each year in spring, where parts of the lake bed float up to the surface, remaining there until vanishing into the depths a week or so later?

I've never really given it too much thought, just put it down to maybe temperatures increasing in Spring which in turn stimulated whatever was lurking in the silt to produce gas as a by-product, which in turn caused areas of cogealed silt etc to leave the lake bed and float.

 

Was at the local lake yesterday, and very surprised to find masses of the stuff on the surface, way more than usual - as much as anything I didn't expect to see anything like this just yet in view of the recent cold spell, though bizarrely, this lake did not freeze at all throughout, despite air temperatures within a half mile falling as low as 11 degrees below zero overnight - I'd put it down to vigourous wind action on the surface, which I guess in turn may have something to do with what I describe, as the lake is quite small and relatively shallow - average depth likely no more than about 4 feet, 6 feet at it's deepest, over 3 acres.

No signs of any fatalities or any other problems within the lake   ...   any thoughts anyone   ...   and does the phenomenon I describe have a name, and is my loose interpretation of what happens anything close to being accurate?



#2 gozzer

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 12:41 PM

I'm no expert, but I often thought that these algae blooms where as much to do with light as they are heat. If the oxygen produced during the longer daylight hours is such that it causes a build up, then lumps of it will float to the surface. 

Just the thoughts of a layman.

 

John.


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#3 Phone

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 02:49 PM

All,

 

It goes something like this.  Cold water is heavier than warm water.  The bottom of your lake is ALWAYS 39 degrees F. That is when water is the heaviests.  As the water at the surface cools it sinks forcing the bottom to turn over.  Both water warmer than 39 or colder than 39 can trigger this event.

 

 

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#4 gozzer

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 03:48 PM

All,

 

It goes something like this.  Cold water is heavier than warm water.  The bottom of your lake is ALWAYS 39 degrees F. That is when water is the heaviests.  As the water at the surface cools it sinks forcing the bottom to turn over.  Both water warmer than 39 or colder than 39 can trigger this event.

 

 

Phone

 

 While I realise that water is at it's densest at 39F, and will sink to the bottom at that temp. We are talking about a shallow lake here phone, 3 to 6 feet deep, so I doubt that the temp at the bottom is 'ALWAYS' 39 F. Air temp', sunlight, and wind, will soon cause the water at the bottom to warm up, when it's only a few feet deep.

 

John.


Angling is more than just catching fish, if it wasn't it would just be called 'catching'......... John

#5 Phone

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 09:25 PM

John.

 

You're right, the the sequence of events I am talking about you need 9-10 ft of water minimum and the deeper the more defined it will be.

 

Ohh, and I might add the water at the bottom of your lake may not always be 39.  In fact, in summer it is probably rarely 39.

 

I would look straight away at non-single point sources (industrial, storm water, agricultural) .  It is pretty safe to say the water must be at least 55f for algae to reproduce and more like 59 to be realistic.

 

Do you believe it is new algae (probably bright green) or dead algae that is breaking loose from some "force".  If it is old, wind and heavy runoff are likely suspects.

 

Phone

 

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#6 Martin56

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 11:36 PM

Another feasible explanation could be decayed, uneaten bait - Like Luncheon Meat??

 

I've seen similar, in summer - but as a thick film of congealed fat on the surface.

 

Luncheon meat is cereal based, which (when the meat bit has decayed) would come to the surface like a cork?? 

 

Could even be decayed Duck, Goose & Swan droppings??

 

They do it in the water!! & If you've fished some of the pegs I have after a goose has been on the staging - you'd think a German Shepherds' just crapped there!!

 

Beware of the Goatherds as well - especially the lonely ones high on a Hill - All that Yogurt & stuff   :shutup:


Edited by Martin56, 07 March 2018 - 12:02 AM.

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#7 Steve Burke

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 12:03 PM

This occurs every Spring at Wingham.  What seems to happen is the previous year's weed dies off and decomposes on the bottom.  In doing so it gives off gases that are trapped underneath the dead weed.  As the water temperature rises the gas expands and forces what remains of the weed up to the surface.  At Wingham it normally occurs at about 8 to 9C (46 to 48F).

 

It's a sign that Spring is on the way and shortly after the fishing much improves for species like carp and tench.  This year "the bottom coming up" as it's generally called started just before last week's snow, which was particularly early as down here we've not had a cold Winter.


Edited by Steve Burke, 07 March 2018 - 12:22 PM.

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#8 Phone

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 04:49 PM

All,

 

Lakes "turning over" is a well studied science.  You might want to google for further information.  The explanations go for simple laymen's terms to complex scientific mumbo-jumbo.  Water is a really really complex chemical compound - who'da thunk it?

 

Martin,  I use goose dung as a "go-to" bait when the carp are following the ducks swimming about.  In the colonies we don't have many goat herds however I've used deer dung successfully.  If I am specimen fishing I prefer moose dung.

 

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#9 philocalist

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 11:34 PM

This occurs every Spring at Wingham.  What seems to happen is the previous year's weed dies off and decomposes on the bottom.  In doing so it gives off gases that are trapped underneath the dead weed.  As the water temperature rises the gas expands and forces what remains of the weed up to the surface.  At Wingham it normally occurs at about 8 to 9C (46 to 48F).

 

It's a sign that Spring is on the way and shortly after the fishing much improves for species like carp and tench.  This year "the bottom coming up" as it's generally called started just before last week's snow, which was particularly early as down here we've not had a cold Winter.

Steve, what you describe is pretty much in line with my own thoughts; the thing that threw me this year was that it happened as you describe at Wingham - very early in the year, way before expected, then seems to have accelerated during the recent cold spell, which was quite severe locally - overnight temperatures of minus 11 just a half mile from the lake, with 30 litre tubs of water in the garden freezing solid, yet the lake remained ice-free, likely thanks to unusually high wind action on the sirface.

Its sort of a relief to hear that its being mirrored at Wingham, if that makes sense? :-)