Piney-Z is a man made lake which was constructed
in the early 20th century. It stands on the East side of Tallahassee
near Tom Brown Park and Swift Creek Middle School. The lake is
surrounded by rolling hills stacked with Pine Trees and was named
“Piney-Z” because of the abundance of Pine Trees and
the “Z” shaped land configuration. On the east end,
a dike divides the lake, and on the west end, a boat ramp has
been built for easy fishing access. Until 1999, muck had been
building up on the bottom of the lake, which reduced the dissolved
oxygen levels and caused most of the sea life to die. Eutrophication
occurred from drainage via Tom Brown Park and Swift Creek Middle
School. As a result, water blooms developed and light could not
penetrate the surface depriving the oxygen absorption necessary
for life. The impact of cultural eutrophication has devastated
the fish populous in the lake.
Lake Piney-Z was drained in 1999 in order to clear
the muck off the bottom (which was up to 4 feet in some areas)
and was restocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, shell cracker
and golden shiners. It has karst topography, which means that
it is fed through a series of underground tunnels surrounded by
limestone. These routes are connected to a larger system know
as the “Florida aquifer”.
Many factors contribute to the successful establishment
of sea life in Lake Piney-Z. The temperature must be in an acceptable
range in order for the fish to feel comfortable and reproduce.
With the clearing of the muck, the dissolved oxygen level has
risen and allowed the fish easier breathing. The nitrate or salt
levels prohibit some fish from living in the lake. While at Lake
Piney-Z, we measured these factors using various kits and tools.
Seen to the left, the DO (dissolved oxygen) kit gives us a reading
based on 1 to 10 of how thick the oxygen is in the water. During
my testing of the lake, the DO level was typically between 8 and