We are seeing the "perfect storm" of conditions today for blue green algae. We have received many reports from shoreline property owners that they are seeing "pea soup" like conditions and streaking of algae. Today's hot, calm weather is bringing the algae to the surface and it is likely that we will continue to see these conditions throughout the day.
It is very important to remember to use your visual indicators while using the lake. Please stay out of the water in areas where there are bloom like conditions. We know based on past sampling efforts that some blooms have been toxic, so it is best to avoid these areas altogether. Please remember that pets are especially vulnerable to Blue Green Algae since they drink a lot of water when in the lake and the algae can concentrate on their fur and they can ingest large quantities when they groom themselves. For more information on the effects of HABs, please review the below links. To report suspicious blooms, please send photos along with location and description of the conditions you are seeing to: HABs@canandaigualakeassoc.org.
Volunteers have been out all morning collecting samples and we will share the results as they become available. Additional Resources: Canandaigua Lake Harmful Algae Bloom Brochure Dogs and Harmful Algae Blooms Fact sheet New York State Department of Health website New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website For questions contact: Kevin Olvany Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council Program Manager firstname.lastname@example.org (585) 747-8719 Lindsay McMillan Association Director, CLWA email@example.com (585) 394-5030
We received toxin analysis from the State DEC on a sample that was collected on August 19th showing a level of 20ug/L of the toxin microcystin, which just meets the DEC Confirmed with High Toxins Bloom threshold of 20ug/L for a shoreline sample. The size of the bloom was small and localized. This result increases the need to use visual indicators to avoid the bloom areas.
Watershed staff went out today (Friday) with FLCC instructor Patty Thompson to do our monthly lake sampling program. We started at the south end launch and sampled 14 different near shoreline locations and two mid lake areas for a variety of chemical and physical parameters. Clarity in the mid lake area near Bristol Harbour was 8 meters- which is great for this time of year. However, with the calm winds we did see some light streaking of algae in the water column and dots in the water. We collected a sample in the area where the algae was streaking and had it screened at FLI. The results showed elevated concentrations but below bloom levels. This was the highest density location that we saw on the lake today.
We then proceeded north and patrolled both the near shore and mid lake areas. Our North Basin clarity reading is located mid lake near Deep Run Beach/old Thendara. The clarity reading here was 5 meters- which is more typical for this time of year. By comparison- during the 2015 bloom we were getting clarity readings of only 2.5 meters. We saw dots in the water at this location- but no streaking. Many of the near shore areas looked fairly clear in the northern half of the lake- but we would occasionally see areas that had more dots in the water. We also received reports of light streaking that would dissipate after a period of time.
The take home message from all of this information is that overall the vast majority of the lake is still well below bloom concentrations, but (and this is important)- there will be isolated pockets of algae that will concentrate in both the shoreline and mid lake areas- especially if there is calm or slight breeze levels. We typically see the concentrations increase on the windward side of the lake- however this is not always the case. Please use your visual indicators of lots of dots or streaking to make decisions on where to recreate this labor day weekend. As we have learned over the last three years- conditions can change rapidly on the lake. The weather looks like it will be sunny and warm which will potentially increase the ability for Blue Green Algae to increase in density.
Feel free to contact us: Kevin Olvany Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council Program Manager firstname.lastname@example.org (585) 747-8719 Lindsay McMillan Association Director, CLWA email@example.com (585) 394-5030
The hot and sunny weather over the last few days have increased the potential for BGA blooms, however the vast majority of the lake is free of any significant concentrations of blue green algae. In an abundance of caution, the State Department of Health closed Deep Run and Onanda Beaches on August 24th. The County and Town are eagerly awaiting test results to hopefully show they can re-open those beaches. Local inspections of those beaches have shown clear conditions over the weekend and Monday- however it is only the state Department of Health that can re-open the beach. Kershaw Beach is still open. The combination of our volunteer monitors, watershed staff and interested residents are indicating that the vast majority of the shoreline areas are free of any Blue Green Algae concentrations along both sides of the lake. We did see one very isolated spot about 4 feet wide along the northern shoreline, but the rest of the north end was free of any visible algae. We spent a couple hours on the lake yesterday and the very calm conditions did increase the "dots in the water" throughout the northern half of the lake with some reduction in clarity, but test results indicated that levels were well below bloom concentrations. The very windy conditions today mixed the algae further into the water column further reducing any concentrations at the surface or near the shoreline. Tomorrow is supposed to be very hot, but also very windy which should create similar conditions to today. Overall, the vast majority of the lake is seeing concentrations of Blue Green Algae that are well below bloom concentrations. However, it is the isolated bloom where people are utilizing the lake that will create the potential for concern. As we have learned over the last three years- conditions can change rapidly on the lake. If conditions are just right after tomorrow (calm, sunny weather) there may be potential for algal concentrations to accumulate along shorelines and in coves. As always, we ask that you use your visual indicators to look for signs of blue green algae before recreating in the lake. If you see it, avoid it. We will continue to work with our growing network of volunteers, and the general public to monitor the shoreline and open water areas and will report any substantial changes. To report suspicious blooms, please send photos along with location and description of the conditions you are seeing to: HABs@canandaigualakeassoc.org. This email "hotline" is monitored by multiple people and organizations 24/7. The Watershed Association and Watershed Council are actively partnering to assess lake conditions and bring you the most current information available. For more information on blue green algae, please see our brochure (https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/a5c0cd_3535518224e94360832746b98c179e31.pdf ), the New York State Department of Health website (https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/bluegreenalgae/) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website (http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/77118.html ). Feel free to contact us: Kevin Olvany Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council Program Manager firstname.lastname@example.org (585) 747-8719 Lindsay McMillan Association Director, CLWA email@example.com (585) 394-5030