Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



A program of research was developed at the State University of New York at Brockport's Department of Biological Sciences to investigate the causes of decreasing water transparency and increased salt levels in some streams draining into Conesus Lake and to identify watersheds and sources of. fertilizers that may be polluting the lake and causing increased abundance of "weeds". It has been supported by New York State, Livingston County, the Villages of Avon and Geneseo and the Town of Livonia and many private citizens. The thrust of the research has been to gather and synthesize information necessary to determine the physical capabilities of Conesus Lake to maintain its aesthetic character, its use as a water supply, and its ability to continue to serve as the symbol of the region. Phase 1 started in 1985 with the goal to identify the causes of the decrease in water "clearness" or the increase in turbidity of the Lake water. The higher turbidity was of concern to the New York State Department of Health because turbidity for the first time was exceeding the New York State's Guidelines on Drinking Water. The high turbidity may eventually require the construction of new water treatment plants. Results from this work suggest that the high turbidity was correlated with the accidental introduction of a new fish, the alewife or sawbelly, into the Lake. Detailed information was also gathered concerning the water quality of Conesus Lake to ascertain its status and fragility.


Prepared for the Livingston County Planning Department

Mt. Morris, N.Y.