Water Quality Update for July 30, 2021

In this issue:

  • Water Quality Update for 7/30/21
  • Erosion & Sediment Control Projects in the Canandaigua Lake Watershed
  • Register today! CLWA Annual Meeting on Tuesday, August 10th at 7 PM 


Water Quality Update : Current Conditions 

Welcome to your Friday Water Quality Update. This week, we are happy to share there were no blooms reported  by volunteers or watershed staff.  

We have been observing a steady decrease in the weekly average water clarity throughout the month of July, as reported by Secchi Disk volunteers.  This summer’s rain events, combined with the natural progression of the phytoplankton community in the lake, mean that clarity has decreased as we have seen an increase in suspended / dissolved materials and a natural increase in algal production. Volunteers provide weekly readings from 17 locations around the lake, giving us a good assessment of overall lake clarity. Individual readings submitted this week seem to indicate a slight increase in clarity, getting back up into the 6 meter depth from 4-5 meters in recent weeks. We thank our wonderful volunteers for providing these readings, as clarity is an important assessment tool which may indicate an upcoming bloom event.   


As shared in last week’s update, we may also continue to see watermeal and duckweed at locations around the lake, as rain events flush these tiny aquatic plants from the West River and other tributaries. Watermeal and duckweed can easily be mistaken for a harmful algae bloom (HAB). See last week’s update for further information and photos.  

As we head into August, we welcome the official start date of the Volunteer Shoreline Harmful Algae Bloom Monitoring Program on Monday, August 2nd. Starting next week, HABs volunteers will be providing weekly reports on the algal activity in their designated shoreline zone. This summer, we are thrilled to have the assistance of 71 volunteers! Each volunteer has been trained to identify blooms and report their findings using an online portal developed by our friends at Seneca Lake Pure Waters that will make real-time HABs information available to the public on the CLWA website. This information will also keep you, CLWA members and followers, aware of the water’s conditions via our Friday email updates.  

Please continue to use your visual indicators to look for signs of active bloom conditions. As recommended by the DEC, if you see it, avoid it. If you have a question on a suspected bloom, please feel free to send in a photograph to HABs@canandaigualakeassoc.org. This email address is monitored by CLWA and Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council staff. We may be able to assist with identification though a clear photograph. 

Volunteers and watershed staff will be continuing daily observations throughout August and September and we will communicate any significant changes in bloom activity through our weekly email updates, on our website, and on our facebook page. 

Enjoy your weekend!

Erosion & Sediment Control Projects in the Canandaigua Lake Watershed
By Ontario County Soil and Water Conservation District 

Ontario County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD)  just wrapped up multiple erosion and sediment control projects in the Canandaigua Lake Watershed. This project utilized funding from the Finger Lakes-Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance (FLLOWPA). The first project included installing a basin to collect water coming from a road culvert. High flows of water are then redirected into a grassed waterway with underground tile to eliminate erosive overland flows which have caused severe cutting in the agricultural field. This system will help manage erosion in the agricultural field, and reduce sediment loss by up to 20 tons of soil/acre/year across the project site. The project was stabilized through hydroseeding by the Ontario County Highway Department. This erosion and sediment control project will prevent soil from entering streams leading to Canandaigua Lake. The farm expressed concerns about the eroding area for several years and worked closely with Ontario County SWCD to develop a management plan that meets both water quality concerns while still allowing the field to be farmed efficiently. 

On another project, the Ontario County SWCD partnered with the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council and the Town of Gorham on an erosion control project with cost-share funding provided through the Finger Lakes Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) program. The project consisted of installing 2 water control structures along with the stabilization of 700’ of streambank on a length of stream that was severely eroding through a farm field. This project resulted in the installation of both water retention as well as hard structures to control water volumes and help prevent erosion. This project will prevent the loss of an estimated 52.5 tons of soil per year on the stretch of treated streambank.

Register today!

The Annual Meeting is a great place to hear about current watershed initiatives! Join us virtually for a business meeting with our year in review, officer and director elections, reports from the Chair and Treasurer, and award recognitions including the announcement of our 2021 Photo Contest winners.

After the business meeting, stay for a presentation with Dr. Lisa Cleckner, Director of the Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, on Canandaigua Lake research initiatives.