Water Quality Update for August 26, 2022


August 26, 2022

Current Lake Conditions:

Harmful Algae Blooms: 3 Confirmed Blooms

Average Secchi Disk Water Clarity: 5.8 meters

Average Surface Water Temperature: 75.3 F

Lake Level: 687.97 feet above sea level (desired level 688.41) Main gates have been closed all summer and feeder canal is at minimum required flow.

Good Afternoon,

Shoreline harmful algae bloom volunteers completed their 5th week of monitoring, this week reporting three confirmed blooms and one suspicious bloom.

The three confirmed blooms were reported last Friday afternoon (August 19th), and were all from the east side of the lake. Volunteers reported surface streaking and heavy “dots in the water” (microcystis colonies). One report was from an offshore area (from a boat) and the other two were shoreline reports. See images below.

Surface streaking reported on 8/19 in the Crystal Beach area (sample collected)
Image of heavy “dots in the water” and surface streaking offshore on 8/19
A sample was collected from one of the shoreline blooms in the Crystal beach area. As part of this program, we like to collect samples from the “early” blooms to get a baseline of what we are seeing in terms of cyanobacteria levels this time of year, recognizing that conditions may vary from site to site.  Levels came back at 36.68 ug/L (micrograms per liter) of cyanobacteria. The NYS DEC deems a bloom above 25 ug/L of cyanobacteria, which confirmed this bloom status.

We have been anticipating isolated bloom reports based on the time of year, as well the bloom activity reported around the Finger Lakes. Overall, we are not seeing substantial concerns with cyanobacteria levels, but isolated blooms may occur and can pop up quickly in the right conditions.  As part of an end-of-dock monitoring program in partnership with SUNY ESF (Environmental Science and Forestry), 6 sites are tested weekly to monitor ambient cyanobacteria levels in the lake, and these levels remain very low. Water clarity as reported by our secchi disk volunteers remains good and the limited HABs reports thus far have been more surface streaking levels and not pea soup conditions.

Please continue to use your visual indicators when recreating in the lake – conditions may change daily, if not hourly, so look for signs of surface streaking of algae, surface scums, or green/discolored water. These areas should be avoided.

Have a nice weekend everyone! If you are looking for something to do, consider watching the recording of the CLWA 2022 Annual Meeting, or stocking up on LED Flares for the upcoming Ring of Fire Celebration. $1 per LED Flare sold at Wegmans in Canandaigua will be donated to CLWA!