Piney-Z is located east of Tallahassee, and includes
193 acres of Piney-Z lake and 407 acres of surrounding property.
Piney-Z gets its name from its abundant pine trees and “Z”
shaped land configuration. The lake did not contain water prior
to 1947, it was used as an agricultural area. In 1947, dikes were
built so that it could be filled with water. Little consideration
for the environment was taken because the owner was not aware
of its possible effects. Ducks flocked to the area and fishing
was widely popular in the area. Eutrofication, water pollution
caused by excessive plant nutrients, caused algae to form and
a layer of muck appeared on the bottom of the lake. In 1998, the
muck was removed from 25% of the bottom to form fingers that could
be used for better bank access and ‘wildlife islands’
through out the lake. This lake reconstruction has cost close
to $150,000. In the future it is hoped that the area will be available
for biking, picnicking, hiking, and wildlife viewing.
The lake is surrounded by a heavily wooded area
where many species of wildlife reside.
Karst topography is a landscape created by groundwater
dissolving sedimentary rocks. The Floridan aquifer is made up
of carbonate rocks such as limestone and dolomite, which can be
readily dissolved by their interaction with acidic water. This
is happening at Lake Piney-Z and has created sinkholes through
out the property. Activities such as dredging can accelerate the
rate of sinkhole expansion.
To maintain Piney-Z as an urban fishery some important
parameters must be observed. Temperature in the lake cannot be
too hot or too cold, this may cause plants and wildlife to die.
Fish can only withstand temperatures between 68 and 89 degrees
F. Higher temperature also causes the amount of dissolved oxygen
The dissolved oxygen level is also very important to the health
of a lake. Aquatic plants produce oxygen that is dissolved in
water. Other animals, such as fish, use the dissolved oxygen to
breath. If there is an unbalance in the DO level algae is also
produced, and this can have many negative effects on the lake.
Too much dissolved oxygen can cause “gas bubble disease,”
and too little DO could cause the fish to die.
If the pH of the water is too low or too high the lake can also
be damaged. It is important for the pH of a lake to remain between
6.0 and 9.0. pH is also important because it measures for toxic
elements agricultural, industrial, and domestic runoff.
Turbidity, the clearness of the water, measures the amount of
solids suspended in the water. This is important because the cloudier
the water is , the most difficult it is for light to pass thought
it. This lessens the ability for plants to photosynthesize.
Phosphates are also important because they stimulate the growth
of aquatic plants and plankton that fish feed on. Phostphate levels
that are too high cause eutrofication.
Nitrates are also important to a lake because they regulate the
oxygen levels in the water. They act as nutrients and keep the
We measured the water quality parameters using many devices. We
used DO kits to measure dissolved oxygen. By adding different
chemicals to water samples we were able to get accurate readings.
Our group also got to use a special attachment to the scientific
calculator which measured temperature, DO, and pH levels in the
To obtain water samples we used a highly scientific
“scooping cup” from which we obtained our water.
After obtaining the samples we used the DO kits
to measure dissolved oxygen in the water. We repeated these trials
several times to make sure we had a precise calculation. We recorded
all of our findings and compared them to other group’s measurements.