Water Quality Update for Friday, July 28, 2023

Current Lake Conditions:  

Harmful Algae Blooms: No Blooms Reported 

Average Secchi Disk Water Clarity: 6.0 meters

Average Surface Water Temperature: 76.5 F

Lake Level: 688.3  feet above sea level

Last Friday was the official kickoff of the Harmful Algal Bloom monitoring season. Our volunteers never disappoint – this week we had 62 reports come in from around the lakeshore notifying us of water quality conditions. There are no blooms to report this week.

Secchi disk measurements of water clarity in open water areas are looking good, with an average weekly depth of 6.0 meters. This week, we trained two new Secchi disk volunteers, and we are happy to add a few more locations to the map for routine reporting! 

This afternoon, we did respond to the Pier for a suspicious bloom report, but it did not end up being a harmful algal bloom.  However, some areas around the pier have aquatic plant fragments matted together and areas of murky, greenish water. We thank our volunteers for keeping an eye out and reporting suspicious conditions when they see them. 

We sometimes get reports from the community of green floating mats that appear to be a HAB. With all the rains in recent weeks, we have seen a lot of duckweed/ watermeal pushed around the lake. The bright green coloration of duckweed can look like a HAB from a distance. Upon closer observation, you will notice that duckweed are tiny free-floating aquatic plants. They are naturally occurring and do not produce toxins like a HAB.  There was no shortage of duckweed in the West River this week as we paddled around searching for Water chestnut!  See the article below for our findings. 

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or photos of suspicious water quality concerns by emailing HABs@canandaigualakeassoc.org

Have a great weekend everyone! 

Findings from Wednesday’s Water Chestnut Pull in the West River

This past Wednesday, CLWA assisted the Finger Lakes Institute in a volunteer effort to clear the West River of the invasive water chestnut (Trapa natans). Check out our video summary of the event with Amy Slentz, Aquatic Invasive Species Program Manager for Finger Lakes PRISM.

Water chestnut is an annual floating aquatic plant with a submerged stem and roots anchoring the plant to the sediment. It is a fast-growing aquatic invasive species that can form dense mats, clogging waterways and causing harm by blocking sunlight to the water column, reducing oxygen levels, and impacting the aquatic ecosystem. Heavy infestations may also outcompete native species that are important food sources for waterfowl. The plant also has the potential to negatively impact recreational activities such as boating and fishing.

Each year the Finger Lakes Institute hosts Water Chestnut Pull events throughout the Finger Lakes in a regional effort to control and eliminate it from our waterways. Our group of volunteers met at the High Tor Boat Launch in Naples to paddle into the West River to pull out as many water chestnut plants as we could find.

Last year, we happily reported finding very low amounts of Water Chestnut (49 lbs). This year, we found significantly less, only about 10 plants! This is great news and suggests that our management efforts with these Water Chestnut Pull events year over year have been effective.

However, we identified a new invasive species during our paddle in 2022 called European Frog-bit (Hyrdocharis morsus-ranae). It appears that this aquatic invasive may be spreading, and it was very recently identified in the Honeoye Lake inlet by Muller Field Station interns and staff.  

European frog-bit is a free-floating annual. The leaves are leathery and round with undersides that may be dark purple. White flowers with yellow centers bloom in the summer. The leaf stem of European frog-bit lacks a midline groove which distinguishes it from its native look-alike American frog-bit (Limnobium spongia).

European frog-bit has rapid vegetative spread and forms dense mats, which can limit light penetration and inhibit recreational use. We will continue to work closely with FLI and PRISM to monitor and manage European frog-bit in our watershed.

Thank you to all the team members that assisted at this event. If you are venturing into the West River area this summer, be sure to be a good lake steward and pull Water chestnut if you spot it!

Also remember to Clean, Drain, and Dry your watercraft in between launches to prevent the spread of new invasive species!