Located in the southeast of Buyuk Menderes River Delta, Bafa Lake is a shallow lake whose deepest part is 21m. 12.281 ha Bafa Lake is in both Aydin and Mugla provinces. Feeding from Buyuk Menderes River, the Aegean Regions longest water course, Bafa Lake is an alluvial dam of low salinity. The lake was formed 2000-2300 years ago through silt carried by the Buyuk Menderes River disconnecting it from the Aegean Sea (Kasparek, 1988). As a result of Soke Plains rising from alluvial deposits the lakes level rose above the seas. Except for its Western and Northwestern sections, the lake is surrounded by mountains. From where the lake opens to the plain towards the West, it is reported that excess waters reach the Buyuk Menderes River through a 3-5 m wide and 3 km long channel (Balik and Ustaoglu, 1989).
marked the beginning of the ecological problems with the construction of a set with the intention of protecting Sercin Village from the Buyuk Menderes floods. The set has prevented Bafa Lake to be sufficiently fed from the river. This problem combined with pressure coming from village waste and fish seed production facilities around the lake resulted in the lakes pollution. Over the years, the lake had hosted both fresh water and marine fish species. However, due to the increase in salinity that has occurred in the lake, only salt tolerent species have maintained their existence. Analysis of the water samples in the past 2 years has shown that 98% of the aquatic phytoplankton consists only of Nodularia spumigena. Since ecological restoration works have not been carried out so far by the government, the lake is under environmental threat and there are local groups and NGOs who try to raise awareness regarding the deterioration of environmental quality of the lake and biodiversity loss.