Piney Z Lake

Mark Y.

Lake Piney-Z

BluegillPiney-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 10.

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