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Hydrology Days 2015
Relative Nutrient Contributions to Lake Yojoa, Honduras
Jemma Fadum and Ed Hall
Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, Colorado State University
Abstract. Lake Yojoa, the largest lake in Honduras, is important to the natural environment and
associated wildlife and also to the surrounding communities. Providing habitat to both native
species and captive bred fish, Lake Yojoa provides not only a method of subsistence, but has
become a thoroughly integrated component of the local economy. However, nutrient inputs from
surrounding municipal, agricultural and natural sources threaten to compromise the health of the
lake and the ecosystem services it provides. In-lake tilapia aquaculture also constitutes a significant
source of nutrients. By comparing legacy and contemporary data on discharge and nutrient
concentrations, we will evaluate the nutrient loading attributed to aquaculture, as compared to
sources from the watershed. The problem of nutrient loading, and resulting loss of ecosystem
health, is not merely aesthetic and ecological but also has dire social and economic impacts on
local communities.