Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Principal Investigators: Gretchen Rollwagen-Bollens, Stephen Bollens
Students: Jennifer C. Duerr, Elizabeth Wagner, Tammy Lee
Funded by: Clark County, Department of Public Works – Vancouver Lake Watershed Partnership
Award period: 2007-2009

Project Summary:

Vancouver Lake is a large, shallow lake in the Columbia River floodplain. It was most likely a part of the Columbia River channel, but formed into a lake as the river migrated to the south. Construction of levees along the south and west margins of the lake and along the Columbia River shoreline led to the eventual separation of the lake the River. Recently, Vancouver Lake has had poor water quality, as evidenced by late summer nuisance blooms of bluegreen algae resulting from high concentrations of phosphorus and nitrogen, high temperature, and high turbidity.

The Clark County Public Works and Water Resources Department initiated a citizen volunteer monitoring program in Vancouver Lake in 2003. Volunteers measure various chemical, physical and biological characteristics of the Lake between June
and October, focused primarily on nutrients, O2, pH and algal concentrations. Beginning in October 2005, we have begun monthly sampling in Vancouver Lake, coinciding with monthly sampling in the main Columbia River, for heterotrophic protists and metazooplankton. We intend to maintain the monthly sampling schedule throughout the year, thus providing the first quantitative observations of non-algal plankton in the Lake and will allow us to describe how zooplankton abundance and composition varies on a seasonal and inter-annual basis. We intend to share this data with Clark County to supplement and enhance their summer/fall monitoring for nutrients and algae.

Publications/Presentations resulting from this project:

  • Boyer, J., G. Rollwagen-Bollens, S.M. Bollens (2011) Microzoolplankton grazing before, during and after a cyanobacterial bloom in Vancouver Lake, Washington, USA. Aquatic Microbial Ecology 64: 163-174.
  • Duerr, J.C., G. Rollwagen-Bollens, and S.M. Bollens.  Microzooplankton grazing on cyanobacteria in Vancouver Lake, WA. 94th ESA Annual Meeting, Albuquerque, NM, USA.
  • Rollwagen-Bollens, G., J. Duerr, S. Bollens, A. Gonzalez, and J. Zimmerman.  Assessing the role of micro- and mesozooplankton grazing on the development and decline of a noxious cyanobacteria bloom.  2010 Ocean Sciences Meeting, Portland, OR, USA.