Blue Ridge Reservoir

As in previous years, the ecological health of Blue Ridge Reservoir rated good in 2011. Blue Ridge has consistently rated among the highest of all the reservoirs monitored by TVA.

TVA monitors one location on Blue Ridge Reservoir—the deep, still water near the dam—usually on a two-year cycle.

Ecological Health Indicators at Blue Ridge Reservoir — 2011

Monitoring locationDissolved
oxygen
ChlorophyllFishBottom
life

Sediment
Forebay Good Good Good Fair Fair

Dissolved oxygen

Dissolved oxygen rated good. Dissolved oxygen has rated good or fair in all previous years except 2007 when it rated poor.  The poor rating was due to low concentrations in the lower water column during September and October and was likely a result of the extended drought.

Chlorophyll

Chlorophyll rated good. Chlorophyll concentrations are typically low in Blue Ridge Reservoir, resulting in good ratings for this indicator.

Fish

The fish community rated good. The fish assemblage has rated either good or at the upper end of the fair range over the years.

Bottom life

Bottom life rated fair. Ratings have varied between good, fair and poor with no specific trend through time. Fair and poor ratings have resulted from fewer individuals being collected, with noticeable declines in the number of mayflies.

Sediment

Sediment quality rated fair. The concentration of arsenic was slightly above suggested background concentrations and low levels of PCBs were detected.  Arsenic occurs naturally in soils and its concentrations in sediments deposited in the reservoir are generally near – slightly above or below – the suggested background concentration.

Fish consumption advisories

Blue Ridge Reservoir—TVA maintains a program to examine contaminants in fish fillets from TVA reservoirs and their major tributary streams on a rotational basis. The data collected from this program is distributed to the state officials who are responsible for placing or removing fish tissue consumption advisories on those bodies of water. For information on advisories currently in effect for Blue Ridge Reservoir, visit the Environmental Protection Division of Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Web page.