Since Friday’s update we have had a lot of rain and some wind. That has helped to keep the surface concentrations of blue green algae (BGA) fairly low in most areas. Please remember that this is a 10,500 acre lake with 36 miles of shoreline- so there can be some significant variability. Both watershed staff and volunteers were active over the weekend and today completing surveys and research on the lake. I was out with DEC staff on Sunday sampling multiple sections of the northern third of the lake and there were low concentrations (well below bloom threshold) levels of BGA. We did have a volunteer collect one sample this morning in the Crystal Beach area that had a concentration above bloom levels. That sample has been sent for further testing for toxins. However, the vast majority of the lake is not seeing bloom conditions at this point (that can change quickly).
We also had three beach closures on Friday- Deep Run beach on the east side, Schoolhouse Beach (Butler Beach) and Yacht Club beach, both on the west side due to visual observations of BGA. State DOH staff were out today collecting samples at those beaches to determine if they can open. We should have results late tomorrow afternoon or Wednesday.
This afternoon we have been seeing large quantities of watermeal and some duckweed washing up on the east side of the lake. The watermeal can look like HABs from a distance. They are very tiny granular plants (bead like) that get washed out of the Hi-Tor wetland system at the south end of the lake. We are also getting a lot of aquatic plants washing up on the shore with the end of the growing season. We also saw foam streaks (west to east) occurring today. The foam is seen on other finger lakes and is the breakdown of organic matter (typically plant material) into a surfactant. If you are not sure if it is watermeal or a HAB- please feel free to contact us.
Overall- our clarity is still holding ok- with secchi disk measurements ranging from 5-5.4 meters on Sunday. Open water surface samples collected in multiple locations indicated levels that well below bloom concentrations. However, isolated blooms are still occurring so please use your visual indicators to determine if there is a bloom. I have described our current HABs as sort of like the game “Whack a Mole”- we think we see it in one spot and then it pops up in another spot. The low level isolated blooms are tough to describe and predict- but it is better than having lake wide blooms! We will continue to provide updates as more information comes in or conditions change. We highly encourage you to call or email if you have any questions.
Watershed Council Program Manager
Watershed Association Director
With the calm winds and hot temperatures today, we are starting to get additional reports of surface streaking and significant dots in the water both along the shoreline area and in the middle of the lake. Conditions today and through the weekend are ripe for additional concentrations of algae and there is a likelihood of more extensive blooms.
Out of an abundance of caution, Deep Run Beach in the Town of Gorham and West Lake Road School House Beach in the Town of Canandaigua have been closed. The beach operators will continue to work with NYS Department of Health and will conduct follow up testing.
Remember: Use visual cues to identify harmful algae blooms. They can appear like pea soup, spilled paint, globs, and parallel surface streaks and significant dots in the water column. Visit the DEC photo gallery for examples.
If you see anything suspicious, avoid it. Remember that dogs are also susceptible to harmful algae blooms and should not enter the water in suspicious bloom areas.
If you see something that looks like bloom, please send photos and a description to HABS@canandaigualakeassoc.org.
Watershed Program Manager
Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council
Canandaigua Lake Watershed Association
We are beginning to receive reports of blue green algae concentrations on the lake. We will be out in the field to assess the situation today and will provide an update later in the day.
Remember: Look for visual indicators of blue green algae. If you see anything suspicious, avoid it. Remember that dogs are also susceptible to blue green algae and should not enter the water in suspicious bloom areas.
If you see any algae concentrations, please send photos and a description to HABS@canandaigualakeassoc.org.
- Kevin Olvany, Watershed Program Manager, Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council and
Lindsay McMillian, Director, Canandaigua Lake Watershed Association