Cyanobacteria (blue green algae) have naturally been present in the lake for centuries. A combination of factors allow the algae to grow into blooms that can harmful to human health and degrade our water quality:
- Phosphorus and nitrogen inputs (nutrients) from the surrounding watershed feed the algae.
- Hot, sunny, and calm weather creates ideal algae growing conditions.
- Zebra and quagga mussels don’t filter blue green algae out of the water.
- Nutrients originate in the watershed and have many sources. Reducing nutrients from the watershed is the only strategy we have to prevent another bloom.
What to look for:
Use visual cues to identify harmful algae blooms. They can appear like pea soup, spilled paint, globs, and parallel streaks. The color is typically blue-green to green to yellow, but can also be brown, red or purple.
Its important to remember: If you see a bloom, avoid it! Blooms can move up and down the water column, and can be pushed by wave and wind action. They can appear quickly in the lake when the conditions are just right. Please use your visual indicators before recreating in the water – stay safe and avoid it.
How to report it:
Help by collecting information on blooms:
- Location (GPS coordinates, address, or geographic description of the area )
- Description – Was it streaky, globby, threadlike, like spilled paint, like pea soup, scummy, silky, or have small leaves? What color was it?
- How large of an area did it cover?
- How long was it there?
Report Suspected Blooms To: Canandaigua Lake Watershed Program (585) 396-3630 or email photos to Kevin.Olvany@canandaiguanewyork.gov or KMcGarry@canandaiguanewyork.gov.
Looking for local resources? Check out the Canandaigua Lake Harmful Algae Bloom Brochure
On October 20, 2015, the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Association and the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council co-hosted a community discussion on the September blue green algae event. A panel of experts each presented a powerpoint, followed by a question and answer session. The experts discussed the science behind blue green algae and the sequence of events on Canandaigua Lake. Video and presentations are below.
For a complete synopsis of the September 2015 Blue Green Algae event, including water test results, check out the September 2015 Daily Log, compiled by Dr. Bruce Gilman of FLCC, and Kevin Olvany of the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council.
For more information, check out the Canandaigua Lake HAB Brochure produced by the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council and CLWA.