Water Quality Update for August 6, 2021

In this issue:

  • Water Quality Update for 8/6/2021
  • Register today! CLWA Annual Meeting on Tuesday, August 10th at 7 PM  
  • About HABs: photos, resources, and further reading


Welcome to your Friday Water Quality Update!

Routine monitoring began this week as part of the Volunteer Shoreline Harmful Algae Bloom Program. For the next 9 weeks, 70 CLWA volunteers will be submitting “bloom” and “no bloom” reports  throughout the week, and in some cases collecting samples for analysis at the Finger Lakes Institute. The data collected, along with professional watershed staff surveys performed by the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council, will be providing us with a good overall assessment of lake conditions. 

Water Quality Update : Current Conditions 

Three suspicious blooms were reported this week by trained volunteers – two on Thursday (8/5) and one this morning (Friday, 8/6). Volunteers observed areas of suspended algae in the water column and very light surface streaking. In an effort to provide the most up to date information available, a sample was collected this morning from one of the suspicious blooms in Crystal Beach and brought to the Finger Lakes Institute for analysis. Results indicated that the CyanoChlorophyll (measurement of cyanobacteria, or blue green algae) did not exceed the bloom threshold, meaning this was not a bloom. 

While this is good news, conditions may be setting up for heavier concentrations of cyanobacteria when the conditions are just right – mainly on calm, dry, sunny days.  Overall, water quality conditions have been looking pretty good this week, with secchi disk readings bouncing back into the mid 6 meter range, indicating better clarity. 

A general assessment of this summer’s conditions thus far.

The mid July storm (3+ inches in some areas over 36 hours), generated substantial runoff from the watershed land area into the lake. This can add nutrients to the lake that can increase the potential for algae blooms.  There are also internal ecosystem dynamics in the lake that favor cyanobacteria (blue green algae)  which may form harmful algal blooms at high concentrations.  Factors at play include the changes in our lake ecosystem brought on by invasive quagga and zebra mussels, and increasing lake temperatures. 

Conditions can change quickly in August, so 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!