An Iowa State University study shows Clear Lake isn’t so clear. The two-year, 600-thousand-dollar study says Clear Lake is murkier and more shallow than it used to be. It says fertilizer runoff is breeding toxic algae that can harm people, fish, livestock and wildlife. It also reports more fish and plants have died off. I-S-U researcher Dr. John Downing says a majority of the phosphorous in the lake comes from rainfall. He says an average of 35-percent of phosphorous comes from the sky. Downing says Clear Lake is unusual in that it has very little watershed and a large amount of lake surface. Downing says Clear Lake should not be labeled as being “sick”. He says the lake is in good shape with high quality resources.Downing says people can help not only Clear Lake but all of Iowa’s polluted waterways by not using fertilizers which contain phosphorous. State biologists and other officials plan to discuss the study over the next few months.
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