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Ozark Waters 
Volume XIV, Issue 13
  March 30, 2020
In This Issue




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That's a Stream of a Different Color!

David Casaletto, President, Ozarks Water Watch 
(Note: This newsletter was originally published in 2005. I also took the banner picture above on Saturday, January 17, 2005. Diane and I took our granddaughter Madison on a hike to Hawksbill Crag near the Buffalo River then we went over to Lost Valley. On the way, we stopped to view the Elk herd that was standing next to the highway.)  
I think the first time I ever really thought about streams and rivers being different colors was hiking the Buffalo River Trail from Steel Creek to the low water bridge at Ponca. Along the way wife Diane and I stopped at a river overlook and I remember saying, "Why is the water so turquoise?"

Buffalo River Trail overlook 
As you can see in my picture above, the color is not as apparent in the shallow water. This really intrigued me so I did a little research when I got home. One web site said it is microscopic clay particles washed into the river from shale outcroppings during rain events. Other sites just said it is minerals. So the color is produced naturally and it is beautiful.
Another shot of the Buffalo's water color.

Up to that day hiking, I guess I just classified river water as clear, brown (silt impacted) or green from algae. But as I finally figured out, the water can be colored from other factors as well. But first, let's start with the basics about color using information I found in the "The River Blog".

Upper Kings River in Arkansas has a green color.

Natural light is actually made up of a number of different colors associated with different wave lengths within the light spectrum. The color we associate with anything is the range of light waves that is reflected back to our eyes by the molecules that comprise the entity. We don't see the colors of light that are absorbed. When it comes to pure water, blue light is reflected while other colors of light, especially reds, are absorbed. When looking at the color of water, it is important to note the difference between the apparent color and true color of a body of water. The apparent color is the color of the water when looking at it without removing any suspended and dissolved particles. True color is the color of the water after the suspended particles have been removed. Suspended particles are things such as algae, sediments, or small particles of a mineral. Dissolved particles are things such as tannins (a yellowish-brown organic acid that is found in plant tissues), or particles of iron and manganese from rocks or soil. Water that is blue has a very low amount of dissolved particles in it.

Very clear, very blue water!
Factors such as minerals, soil runoff and sediment, and even algae can cause water to vary from its natural color of blue. The most common cause for water to change color is minerals. When a rock is weathered down over time, the minerals from the rock are dissolved and small pieces are released into the water causing different colors. Iron, manganese, and calcium carbonate from limestone all common minerals that can cause water to range in color from red and orange to green and blue.

We camped next to a tannin stained waterfall in Canada on a family vacation!

Sediment and soil runoff can also change water's color - sometimes as a temporary color change after storms and sometimes permanently if the river constantly carries lots of sediment. Erosion from river banks brings soil into the river, changing the color. After heavy storms, many rivers run brown from all the runoff flowing into the river. Clay can cause rivers to be murky white, ruddy brown, or yellow.

Red clay from a storm event impacts the Duluth-Superior Harbor. 
Algal blooms are natural occurring overgrowths of algae caused by sunlight, slow water, or nutrients. Pollution runoff from humans can also increase nutrients in the water and cause an algal bloom. Algae affect not only the health of a river but also the color. The color caused by algae can vary from a dark green to almost a reddish color.

Algae bloom on the James River arm of Table Rock Lake in 1999.  
So some water colors are no cause for alarm, but some mean we need to take action to correct a problem. But no matter the reason, nature sure provides us with a colorful world!

Quote of the Week    
"Like music and art, love of nature is a common language
that can transcend political or social boundaries."

~ Jimmy Carter
Frankenfish? 'Manufactured' brown trout should get own record category, angler says
Kirksville Daily Express 
March 23, 2020

There's no doubt Bill Babler's 40-pound, 6-ounce brown trout is a monster that smashed the previous Missouri brown trout record by nearly six pounds. But as one local angler sees it, that's the problem. The record fish caught in September at Lake Taneycomo was a "triploid" brown trout, a fish that was artificially made sterile at Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery so it could grow fast and get really big.

Local angler Al Agnew tips his hat to Babler's success but said he thinks the conservation department should have a special record category for triploid trout. Perhaps an asterisk beside the triploid record? "It seems to me that triploid browns are basically artificial fish," Agnew said. "They are bred specifically to grow to large sizes, unlike 'natural' brown trout."
To read more, click: HERE 
Tips for Fertilization & Irrigation to Improve Water Quality

March 24, 2020
Spring's arrival means many Long Island homeowners will strive for a lush, green lawn. Before applying lawn fertilizer, the Long Island Regional Planning Council (LIRPC) and Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan (LINAP) urge residents to follow LINAP's recommendations for proper lawn fertilization and irrigation.

"Our foremost recommendation is not using any fertilizer," said Kyle Rabin, LIRPC program manager. "If homeowners like how their lawn looks, fertilizer is unnecessary." Fertilizer is the second-leading source of nitrogen contamination of Long Island waters; residential wastewater is the primary source. The nitrogen in fertilizer finds its way into waterbodies, stimulating the excessive growth of aquatic plants and algae that consume dissolved oxygen and block sunlight. Overwatering lawns compounds the problem because it increases the amount of runoff.  
To read more, click: HERE 
The outdoors remains open: Visitor centers closed, services limited, but many parks, conservation areas remain open
The Joplin Globe  
March 23, 2020

The outdoors is open. Museums are closed. Theaters are closed. Events of all kinds are canceled. But outdoors remains open, at least for now. There are no shelter-in-place orders in the region yet, although the number of those is growing around the country. However, many parks that remain open are modifying operations.

Donna Stokes, infection preventionist at Mercy Hospital Joplin, recommended people follow commonsense guidelines when outdoors: avoiding large groups, engaging in social distancing, staying home if feeling sick and avoiding people who are sick. "As long as it is not in a big group, that is fine," she said, referring to outdoor activity. Over the weekend, people around Missouri hit the trails and parks, and Carol Comer, director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, which oversees state parks, tweeted a photo while hiking advising although the state is keeping its parks open, services may be limited because of COVID-19. Campgrounds were closed Monday night. Visitor centers and park offices are closed, and events have been canceled. Comer, in her tweet Saturday, advised visitors to bring their own water.  
To read more, Click: HERE 

Contact Info
OZARKS WATER WATCH                          MISSOURI OFFICE                                 ARKANSAS OFFICE

David Casaletto, President

Cathy Stepp, Executive Director                  PO Box 636, 11 Oak Drive                       1200 W. Walnut, Ste. 3405 

(417) 739-4100                                          Kimberling City, MO  65686                      Rogers, AR  72756