The water quality of Oneida Lake is directly influenced by land use practices in the lake's watershed. As precipitation falls on the landscape, it washes or carries materials, such as soil, cow manure, nutrients, pesticides, etc., from the land surface into nearby streams and eventually into Oneida Lake influencing water quality (CNY RPDB 2000). Thus different land usage greatly influences water quality of streams and lakes. For example, land usage that includes agriculture and urban living has a greater potential to deliver nutrients and soil to a lake than a forested watershed. If efforts are made to protect a lake's watershed, water quality, as well as fish spawning and nursery areas of sport fishes, is also protected and even enhanced over the long term. To understand the relative impact of the many tributaries draining the sub-watersheds that constitute the Oneida Lake watershed, the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board began a series of studies (Makarewicz and Lewis 2000a, 2003) to determine the relative loss of nutrients from major sub-watersheds of Oneida Lake and to determine the location of sources within the priority sub-watersheds.
Based on the two previous studies that suggested that loss of soil from the Oneida Creek subwatershed was relatively high and the fact that fish propagation is considered "impaired" because of sediment loss frorn agriculture (NYSDEC Priority Waterbodies List), the CNYRPD Technical Cornmittee recommended that a segrnent analysis be performed to identify sources of soil and nutrient loss from the Oneida Creek sub-watershed .
Makarewicz, Joseph C. and Lewis, Theodore W., "Segment Analysis of Oneida Creek: The Location of Sources of Pollution" (2004). Technical Reports. 95.