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Water Quality Update for August, 7 2020

The vast majority of the lake remains bloom free. However, we have received a few reports this week of surface streaking and “dots” in the water. We had a bloom in the Crystal Beach area on Monday 8/3 which was sampled and results came back above the bloom threshold of 25 ug/L (micrograms per liter). There has also been about a meter reduction in clarity throughout the lake system. However, extensive inspections by the watershed manager and the many volunteers that surveyed this week did not see blooms in most locations. So overall, this information means that the lake is experiencing some isolated blooms that tend to be transient in nature.

Areas showing visual indications of blooms should continue to be avoided. As we head into the weekend, the forecast is calling for sunny, warmer weather. This means that conditions can change very quickly. Please continue use your visual indicators to look for signs of a HAB- lots of dots in the water, surface streaking, pea soup like conditions- before you, a family member or pets enter the water. If you have questions or suspect a HAB- please email:

This week marked the official launch of the Volunteer Shoreline Harmful Algae Bloom Monitoring Program! This summer, 41 volunteers have been trained and are out proactively monitoring a designated stretch of the shoreline each week, looking for blooms and reporting their findings. A subset of these volunteers are also Sample Monitors, and have been outfitted with bottles and gloves to collect HABs samples throughout the season. Samples are screened at the Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart and William Smith Colleges for total chlorophyll and blue-green chlorophyll a, and microscopy is also performed to look at the overall composition of the algal community. The results of both the visual surveys and samples will help to determine the severity of the blooms. The information collected through the volunteer shoreline HABs program, combined with professional monitoring efforts by watershed staff and readings coming in from our secchi disk volunteers aid us in the development of our Friday Water Quality Updates. It truly is a collaborative approach that involves many eyes on the lake!

From here on out, each week (for the duration of our 10 week program) you will see a Bloom Watch ticker in our weekly updates, which shows the number of shoreline surveys performed, number of blooms reported, as well as information from the previous week so you can see the change in activity. In addition, an interactive Bloom Map from the volunteer efforts will be updated in real-time on our website. Click on the dots to pull up more information on each bloom (date reported, images, etc). These two neat features are thanks to our great partnership with Seneca Lake Pure Waters, our sister Association at Seneca Lake. We thank them for sharing their reporting structure with us!


Kevin Olvany

Watershed Program Manager, Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council

Lindsay McMillan Association Director, Canandaigua Lake Watershed Association

More Information on Blue Green Algae

Click below for our Harmful Algae Bloom brochure.

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