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Water Quality Update 9/4/2020

So far this week, volunteers have performed 20 shoreline surveys and there have been no confirmed blooms. Reporting weeks for the Shoreline HABs Monitoring Program run Monday to Sunday, which means there are still a few more reporting days left in this block (this reporting week ends on 9/6). Since the 2020 program launch on August 3rd, there have been 191 shoreline surveys performed – wow! We encourage our volunteers to keep up their great work in providing regular updates and reports from their zones. Volunteers will be reporting through early October.

The Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council have also done numerous site visits and have responded to calls from residents reporting suspected blooms. So far, none of the site visits this week have had evidence of a cyanobacteria bloom (aka HAB). There have been several areas with watermeal / duckweed. You can read more about this HAB “look-alike” below.

Our weekly average water clarity readings have increased for the third week in a row - from 4.16 meters (week ending 8/16), to 5.0 meters (week ending 8/23) to 5.42 meters (week ending 8/30). So far, secchi disk volunteers have performed 219 readings this summer. We thank them for keeping us informed on lake conditions!

As we head into the Labor Day weekend, we are looking at a wonderful stretch of beautiful, sunny weather. Interestingly, in both 2018 and 2019 the day after Labor Day had the highest number of reported blooms recorded each season. In 2018, we had 14 reported blooms on September 4th (day after Labor Day), and in 2019 we had 14 reported blooms on September 3rd (day after Labor Day). While we certainly hope this trend does not continue in 2020, we should remain aware that conditions can change quickly and to keep an eye out for signs of a bloom before you or your pets enter the water. Please continue to use your visual indicators to look for surface streaking, pea-soup like conditions, and green cloudy water. These areas should be avoided.

For more information throughout the week, you can check out the interactive Bloom Map from the volunteer efforts, which is updated in real-time on the CLWA website. Click on the dots to pull up more information on each bloom (date reported, images of blooms, description, etc).

If you have any questions, please email:

We hope you all enjoy a wonderful Labor Day weekend. Remember, if you participate in the Ring of Fire on Saturday evening, please burn your flares responsibly by capturing the residue on a pie plate (check out the cool video!). Alternatively, consider a small bonfire or string of red lights instead of flares.


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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