Tahoe in the News

Lake Tahoe Clarity Report Mixed for 2019

UC Davis News, UC Davis
June 10, 2020

The clarity of Lake Tahoe has long been one of the most important indicators of the changing condition of this iconic water body. In 2019, Lake Tahoe’s clarity decreased nearly 8 feet from the previous year’s dramatic 10-foot improvement. The average annual value in 2019 was 62.7 feet. The lowest value was recorded in 2017, when clarity was 60 feet.

Such year-to-year and even day-to-day fluctuations are common. A truer picture of the clarity is often indicated by a five-year running mean, which shows a mean clarity of 67.3 feet, according to the data released by the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center.

Clarity is measured as the depth to which a 10-inch white disk, called a Secchi disk, remains visible when lowered into the water. In 2019, scientists took 28 individual readings at the long-term index station maintained by UC Davis.

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