Famous Lake Decaying - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Famous Lake Decaying

Published September 6, 2011

Lagarfljót, a lake near Egilsstaðir in northeast Iceland, appears to be cloudying up with sediment, and the number of fish in it may be in decline.
Ever since the dam at Kárahnjúkar was built, the Office of Fishing and Hunting Affairs has been keeping track of the effect the river Jökulsá á Dal – which, as a result of the damming, flows into Lagarfljót – has been having on the lake. Their findings thus far have not been positive.
Fishermen in the area, for example, have noticed that the water is cloudier. It is not possible to see as far into the water as was previously possible. This is due, the office believes, to glacial sediment from Jökulsá flowing into Lagarfljót.
This same sediment might be causing fish stocks to significantly decrease. Fewer trout have been caught in the lake lately, and it is believed that the cloudying of the waters from the sediment is blocking sunlight from reaching bottom-growing plants that feed the fish, resulting in a famine.
Fish expert Guðni Guðbergsson hopes that this process can be reversed somehow. For now, it appears as though life in the lake is dying.


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