Phytoplankton community structure and productivity in large aquatic systems in relation to changing conditions in nutrient supply and turbidity has long been a challenging research field for both oceanographers and limnologists. In Kootenay Lake, one of the largest waterbodies without a sizable dam in the upper Columbia River system of British Columbia, there have been several major shifts in both nutrient supply and turbidity within the last half century - the early ones only partially documented and the later ones more fully so.
In the early 1960's, when Kootenay Lake was already several years into what would be a nearly 20 year period of severe cultural eutrophication, a MSc graduate student started his doctoral research on the interplay of factors affecting phytoplankton community structure and productivity in Kootenay Lake at the University of British Columbia. His field work was conducted for three successive years (1964-1966) and laboratory analyis continued for a few years thereafter. However, unfortunately, for various reasons, his doctoral thesis was never completed.
Nevertheless, the data files and other material were stored away in hopes that this valuable work would not be lost. Now, over some thirty years later, with the advent of an ambitious fertilization experiment on Kootenay Lake, there was interest and support to pull together the results of much of the doctoral study, realizing that they would be of use not only for the experimental approach to correcting the recent oligotrophication and other problems in the lake system, but also for its recreational management.
Northcote, T. G., Fillion, D. B.; Salter, S. P.; Ennis, G. L. 1999. Interactions of Nutrients and Turbidity in the Control of PhytoPlankton in Kootenay Lake British Columbia, Canada, 1964 to 1966. Ministry of Fisheries. Misc. Fisheries Project Report. 1