Water Quality Update for August 12, 2022

Current Lake Conditions:

Harmful Algae Blooms: No Blooms Reported

Average Secchi Disk Water Clarity: 6.28 meters

Average Surface Water Temperature: 76.3 F

Lake Level: 687.92 feet above sea level (desired level 688.5) – Drought conditions have substantially reduced inflow to the lake, direct precipitation on the lake and enhanced evaporation of the lake surface. Main gates have been closed all summer and feeder canal is at minimum required flow.


Happy Friday Everyone! This week’s water quality update brings another week with no harmful algal blooms reported on Canandaigua Lake

Activity has picked up among several of our neighboring Finger Lakes, with isolated blooms reported on Owasco, Skaneateles, Cayuga, Keuka, Honeoye, and Canadice Lakes over the past 7 days. (See the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation NYHABS page for an interactive map.) This knowledge, paired with warming water temperatures means that blooms may be around the corner for us too. We know from past experience that conditions can change rapidly, so please be sure to use your visual indicators to look for signs of surface streaking of cyanobacteria. Check out images on our HABs page to know what to look for. 


Secchi disk volunteers are reporting good clarity in recent days, ranging from 5.4 to 6.9 meters – an increase from last week. Looking at the yearly trends in water clarity readings, we have historically seen a peak in clarity mid-August, before an end-of- August downturn and subsequent HAB event. Great clarity means more sunlight penetration in the water column, and when cyanobacteria levels begin to increase in our lake (as typical this time of year), sunlight can cause the cyanobacteria to proliferate when the conditions are just right.

Keep us posted if you see anything, and rest assured there are many eyes out on the lake between watershed staff, the 62 active shoreline monitoring zones, and 18 mid-lake secchi disk locations that are surveyed very frequently. Questions can be emailed to HABs@canandaigualakeassoc.org. We thank all of our awesome volunteers for their assistance!

If you haven’t done so yet, please register for the CLWA Annual Meeting this upcoming Tuesday, August 16th at 7:00 PM via zoom to learn more about water quality. DEC Research Scientist Tony Prestigiacomo will present Harmful Algal Blooms in Deep Places: A Finger Lakes Case Study, and we will also have an update on watershed projects from Kevin Olvany of the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council.

No bloom images to report, but please enjoy this photo of a school of minnows swimming along the east side of the lake on Wednesday afternoon.