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Ozark Waters 
Volume VIII, Issue 32
August 11, 2014
In This Issue
Could our Lakes Become Lake Erie?
Couple ordered to stop sewage discharge
Plain old jug can bring catfish from the depths

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Want information about a Watershed Group? Click on the name to go to their website.



Table Rock Lake Water Quality


James River Basin Partnership


Kings River Watershed


Illinois River Watershed Partnership


Elk River Watershed


Friends of the North Fork and White River


Save the Illinois River




Watershed Conservation Resource Center


Northwest Arkansas Land Trust


Grand Lake Watershed Alliance Foundation 



Could our Lakes Become Lake Erie?

David Casaletto, Executive Director, Ozarks Water Watch


I have made the statement many, many times over the years, both verbal and written, that the main focus of our water quality protection efforts in the Upper White River Basin is nutrient reduction to avoid excessive algae growth. Then I will usually say that algae is not a human health risk. And, at this time, in our Upper White River lakes, that is true. But current events show it might not be true tomorrow. I was just reading an article published in the New York Times entitled "Behind Toledo's Water Crisis, a Long-Troubled Lake Erie". 


Algae at its WORST!

Last week Toledo, Ohio banned the use of tap water for almost half a million people after detecting a poisonous chemical called microcystin, a product of a specific kind of blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, in the drinking water supply. Microcystin can cause liver damage and rashes at concentrations of a few parts per billion. 


Just makes you want to dive in Lake Erie.....NOT!


While blue-green algae has been found a few times in our area lakes, it has not been detected at unhealthy levels. This is mainly due to local stream and lake phosphorous levels being about half of those in Lake Erie.


Lake Erie's algae bloom from sky

According to the New York Times article, Lake Erie is flooded by tides of phosphorus washed from fertilized lawns & farms, cattle feedlots and leaky septic systems. As the most intensely developed of the Great Lakes, it is increasingly being choked each summer by thick mats of algae, much of it poisonous.


Swim beach sign at Lake Erie


Currently, I am involved with both the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources as they work on Nutrient Criteria Water Quality Standards. It is an ongoing effort. We must be proactive to protect our waters! If we ever wake up and our lake appears to be filled with green paint, we are too late. It is easy to get complacent when our lakes are clear and clean, but clean water is not an accident. Our good water quality is due to our water quality groups working hand in hand with business & industry, the public and our state and federal agencies to put the measures in place, both voluntary and regulatory, to insure we can continue to swim, boat, fish and drink our local Ozarks waters.

Beaver Lake, AR




Quote of the Week



"There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot." 


~ Aldo Leopold







August 3, 2014


FAIRFIELD, Texas (AP) - As murky water snakes through a man-made wetland between Dallas and Houston, its shallow ponds of lush vegetation slowly filter out phosphorous and nitrates until, a week later, the water runs clear as a creek into the area drinking supply. The 2,000-acre wetland system in Fairfield converts what is mainly treated wastewater that would otherwise flow into the Gulf of Mexico into an additional 65,000 gallons per day feeding the Richland-Chambers Reservoir - a significant contribution in a state enduring prolonged drought.

At $75 million, the wetlands system cost far less to build than traditional filtering infrastructure and has piqued the interest of planners from places as far afield as Mexico City and Baghdad, where bombs destroyed the water infrastructure. And with climatologists predicting longer and more frequent droughts worldwide, the wetland system greatly reduces the pressure on water utilities and their reliance on precipitation.

"This is stepping back from dependence on rainfall," said David Marshall, head of engineering services for Tarrant Regional Water District, which operates the wetlands. "With potential climate change or long-term droughts, we're at risk, whereas these wetlands firm up a tremendous amount of water supply for us." The technology behind the George Shannon Wetland Water Reuse Project has been around for decades, but only recently proved reliable and cost efficient.


To read more, Click: HERE.



Couple ordered to stop sewage discharge


July 31, 2014

A consent judgment has been reached in regard to a home on Landing Creek Road in Cole County (MO) that has been leaking raw sewage into ditches. Last year, the Missouri attorney general's office agreed to assist the county in its efforts to get the property owners, Joseph Meidel and Tamara Neuner, to clean up the property. By law, the county health department and County Commission could not do anything about the leaking raw sewage. The county could investigate, but it was then up to the county prosecutor to pursue action.

County Prosecutor Mark Richardson had hoped to reach a resolution on the sewage issue while also dealing with Meidel on an unrelated criminal case, but that did not happen. Presiding Commissioner Marc Ellinger then asked the attorney general's office to take action under Missouri's clean water laws. According to the consent judgment with the attorney general's office, Meidel and Neuner are to pump and haul wastewater and prevent any discharge into the ditch adjacent to their property until a wastewater collection and treatment system approved by the county health department has been permitted and constructed.

Construction and installation of the system shall be completed within 180 days of the employment of a licensed contractor, the judgment states. If the couple can't afford the approved system or can't afford to hire an engineer to design the system, they must submit an estimate of the cost and three loan denials to the county health department. After submitting the denials, the couple will have to have all waste pumped and hauled from the property until an advanced system can be installed or the facility is lawfully connected to a wastewater treatment system permitted by the county health department and Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

To read more, Click: HERE.



Plain old jug can bring catfish from the depths


Springfield Newsleader

July 30, 2014  


Around this time of the year, between the middle of July and the middle of August, many Missourians think of catfish, and each year more are getting hooked on jugging for catfish. As a youngster, I fished the Blackwater River south of Marshall, and the river seemed to be loaded with catfish. My friends and I were on the river a lot during the summer, setting limb and trot lines. We caught lots of catfish.

A couple of years ago, I met a man who loved to go jugging for catfish. In talking to him, old memories of days gone by were rekindled. He told me about a recent jugging trip to Truman Lake. First off, he said he headed for a bait shop where he purchased some worms, then drove to a dock on the Lake of the Ozarks where he knew perch and sunfish were. After catching a bucket full of 3-to 5-inch fish, he headed back to his catfish spot on Truman. With the trolling motor at slow speed, he baited and tossed jugs in a certain pattern. It didn't take long before one of the jugs started moving away and stood on end.

Like in the movie "Jaws," the jug disappeared. When it finally popped up, the race was on. My new friend Bobby Gardner, of Marshall, said, "I grabbed my long net, then trapped the jug against the boat. I knew it was a big cat. After fighting to get the monster into the boat I had to take a break before looking for the other jugs. The big flathead weighed just under 50 pounds."

To read more, Click: HERE.


Contact Info
OZARKS WATER WATCH                          MISSOURI OFFICE                                 ARKANSAS OFFICE

David Casaletto, President                         PO Box 636, 2 Kissee Ave., Ste. C         1200 W. Walnut, Ste. 3405
(417) 739-5001                                             Kimberling City, MO  65686                    Rogers, AR  72756