Lake Vegoritis, one of the largest lakes in Greece, is located in Western Macedonia region in North-Western Greece and occupies the lowest area of the Ptolemaida basin (Figure 8a). It is considered as one of the most important water resources of Western Macedonia for its multiple uses and benefits for humans [34]. The investigative monitoring of the condition of Lake Vegoritis was designed and implemented from 2018 to 2020. In compliance with the WFD provisions [35], integrated samples (from the euphotic zone, 2.5× Secchi Depth) were taken from the pelagic zone of the lake (40°44′40.70′’N, 21°47′3.90′’E, National Monitoring Water Network sampling point, NMWN point), with a Nansen water sampler (Hydro-Bios, Germany). Physicochemical features were measured seasonally and each month during the growing season (May to October). For phytoplankton and chlorophyll α analysis, 2–4 samples were obtained during the growing season. Grab samples (1.5 L) for toxins analysis were collected in disposable plastic bottles from the surface layer of the lake (0–30 cm) at least monthly, from July to November, April to October, and May to October during 2018, 2019 and 2020, respectively. Sampling took place at two points: Site 1, 40°43′29.5′’N, 21°45′13.6′’E from the designated bathing area of the lake, and Site 2, 40°43′12.1′’N, 21°45′07.2′’E from the pier (Figure 8b). The samples were transported to the laboratory within 24 h of collection, in dark containers and at low temperature (≈4 °C).

The (a) map and (b) sampling points of Lake Vegoritis.

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