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The Adirondack Lakes Survey Corporation determined that 27 percent of all 2,800 lakes and ponds in the Park remain at a pH of less than 5.0 all year. The slide shows that few species can live in a pH lower than 5.5; rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, fathead minnow, clam, snail and mayfly cannot survive in a pH lower than 5.5. The clam, snail and mayfly are at the bottom of the lake ecosystem food chain. Therefore, if they die out, even secondary consumers that can survive lower pH levels will eventually die too.

Each spring, as the previous winter's snow melts all at once, the pH is drops to 5.0 for weeks at a time, causing an "acid shock." The EPA estimates that 43 percent of the Park's lakes and ponds will reach a critical point by the year 2040 without further controls on air pollution.

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