Lake of the Woods, ON


The overall objective of this project is to quantify nutrient (primarily phosphorus) loading to the Lake of the Woods (LOW) from the Canadian portion of the basin. The LOW is a large, international water body straddling the borders of Ontario and Manitoba and the state of Minnesota. The LOW regularly experiences large and persistent algal blooms, and there is a need to better quantify the contribution of nutrients from tributary runoff and atmospheric deposition within the Ontario portion of the basin, which represents the largest part of the watershed. With funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) we are monitoring tributary water quality and quantity and atmospheric deposition at several stations within the basin (see Figure 1) over a two-year period. These data will be used to estimate nutrient loading across various geologic and landcover types within the basin, and evaluate the sensitivity of nutrient delivery to climatic variation.

Project members: Catherine Eimers (PI), Andy Williams (field lead and MSc. candidate), Kelly MacGillivray (MSc. candidate), Wes Greenwood (project collaborator)

Location of the Lake-of-the-Woods (LOW) nutrient loading study sites in northwestern Ontario. The portion of the LOW watershed falling within Ontario is outlined in black and lands belonging to the United States are indicated by dark grey

ISCO auto water sampler

Deposition collector

Acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) Flow meter

Stream gauging on the Pickerel River

Sampling through the ice

Stream sampling

Andy Williams, B.Sc. LoW project Research Associate

B.Sc. Hons (2019) – thesis title: “Quantifying biological impairment in Arctic tundra streams: The case of Iqaluit, Nunavut”

Andy completed his B.Sc. in Environmental Science at Trent and will start his M.Sc. in Jan 2020, which will focus on agricultural influences on watershed health. He is an experienced environmental consultant, working mainly in the private sector within forestry, restoration and most recently in the Canadian Arctic on a water security initiative. Andy is currently leading the field campaign for the LOW project and is looking forward to learning about hydrology and water quality as they relate to nutrient loading across the watershed.

This project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the federal Department of Environment and Climate Change.

Ce projet a été realisé avec l'appui financier du gouvernement du Canada agissant par l'entremise due ministére fédéral de l'Environment et due Changment climatique

The Dorset Environmental Science Centre