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In the News: Lake Tahoe’s clarity the best it’s been since 1980s, according to UC Davis research

April 16, 2023 | Member Submitted

Originally published in the Sierra Sun on 4/12/23. Submitted to the Sun. Photo from TERC.

For the last five months of 2022, Lake Tahoe was the clearest it has been since the 1980s. That is due in part to a resurgence of the lake’s native zooplankton. They’ve provided a natural clean-up crew to help restore the lake’s famous blue waters. 

Clarity is measured as the depth to which a 10-inch white disk, called a Secchi disk, remains visible when lowered into the water. 

In 2022, Lake Tahoe’s average annual clarity was 71.7 feet compared to 61 feet in 2021. The key finding from 2022 was the great improvement in lake clarity from August through December, when the average Secchi depth was 80.6 feet. This coincided with the highest numbers of the zooplankton Daphnia and Bosmina.

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