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Glossary » C

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CO2 gas is a product of respiration and a necessity for photosynthesis. High levels of dissolved CO2 in the water can stress or kill fish.


A measure of Eutrophication of a body of water using a combination of measures of water transparency or turbidity (using Secchi Disk depth recordings), Chlorophyll-a concentrations, and total phosphorus levels. TSI measures range from a scale 20-80 and from Oligotrophic waters (maximum transparency, minimum chlorophyll-a, minimum phosphorus) through Mesotrophic, Eutrophic, to Hypereutrophic waters (minimum transparency, maximum chlorophyll-a, maximum phosphorus). Also referred to as the (Mean) Trophic State Index (TSI). Also see Total Inorganic Nitrogen (TIN) and Total Inorganic Phosphate (TIP).


The carrying capacity of a lake refers to its natural productivity. In relation to fish production, or other aquatic life, the numbers which the natural food supply, or pasturage, will support adequately.


A group of green algae, visible to the naked eye, with a characteristic structure in which the 'stems' are very large single cells, from which whorls of similarly constructed branches emerge. Charophytes are anchored in sediments by branching cellular systems, not roots. They often deposit calcium carbonate giving them a rough texture and the common name of 'stoneworts', though not all do this.


One of the major inorganic anions in water and waste-water. In coastal communities chloride levels may be high due to saltwater intrusion. Levels exceeding 600 mg/L are generally unsuitable for irrigation. Surface waters containing more than 250 mg/L chloride will have a detectable salty taste.

COD or COD Test

Chemical Oxygen Demand - In environmental chemistry COD test is commonly used to indirectly measure the amount of organic compounds in water. Most applications of COD determine the amount of organic pollutants found in lakes and rivers, making it a useful measure of water quality. It is expressed in milligrams per liter (mg/L), which indicates the mass of oxygen consumed per liter of solution.


The ability of water to carry an electrical current.


This metal is an active ingredient of certain herbicides, especially copper sulfate (bluestone), which is frequently used to control algae. High concentrations of copper ions can be toxic to fish, especially trout. Copper applied to ponds with soft or acidic water is more toxic to aquatic life than in ponds with hard or alkaline water.