Lake Owen Important Aquatic Plant Habitat

Plants play a critical role in the lake ecosystem. They provide habitat for plankton and invertebrates, which, in turn, provide food for fish. Plants also provide cover for bait fish, on which predatory fish forage. Floating and emergent vegetation provides sediment and shoreline stability by reducing energy in waves.  Emergent plants (plants such as cattail that penetrate beyond the water surface) also provide cover and nesting areas for amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Sensitive plants tend to inhabit low nutrient sediments where other plants are not adapted to live.

Since Lake Owen has limited areas of plant coverage, the areas that do have plants are very important.  Important Lake Owen aquatic plant habitat areas are identified where there is a high diversity of plant species, floating-leaved and emergent plants, and sensitive plant species present.  Areas with high species diversity, floating and/or emergent vegetation, and areas with sensitive plants are critical plant habitat areas. This map illustrates where these are located in Lake Owen:

Plants in these areas should be protected and monitored for any changes that could have a negative impact on the lake and its habitats.