The Ausable River watershed is home to many lakes and ponds, from remote high-elevation ponds to larger lakes that are popular recreational destinations. The Ausable and Cascade Lakes, Heart Lake, Lake Placid, and Chapel, Copperas, Owens, and Taylor Ponds, to name only a few, are vital ecological resources for wildlife and people. They are habitat for fish and wildlife. Loons, osprey, and bald eagles, among other bird species, rely on lakes and wetlands for breeding and nesting. Wild populations of native Brook Trout are found in many of the remote ponds. Lake Trout can be found in several larger bodies of water, including Mirror Lake, Lake Placid, and Taylor Pond. Paddling opportunities abound within the Ausable watershed. The Ausable River Association (AsRA) has established an interpretive paddling trail on Lake Everest in Wilmington to help educate paddlers about river ecology.
Our lakes face significant challenges. Road salt is one of the most significant threats, impairing their ability to support aquatic life. Mirror Lake is one of the saltiest bodies of water in the Adirondack Park, inhibiting the lake's ability to support Lake Trout and other fish species. Climate change is another serious concern for our water bodies. Warming water temperatures and stronger thermal stratification are linked to changes in phytoplankton communities and harmful algal blooms. Both of these phenomena threaten Lake Trout, a native cold water fish prized by anglers. Additionally, our lakes are under increasing threat from aquatic invasive species. Non-native plants and animals inflict significant ecological harm and cost to local and regional economies.
Our ability to address and mitigate the multiple stresses on our lakes depends upon the actions of watershed residents and visitors. Collectively, we can protect and conserve our valued natural resources. By joining AsRA you can make a diffence in the protection of our lakes and ponds.