Water Quality Update for July 22, 2022

July 22, 2022
Current Lake Conditions:
Harmful Algae Blooms: No Blooms Reported
Average Secchi Disk Water Clarity: 4.47 meters
Average Surface Water Temperature: 75.2 F
Lake Level (as reported by the City of Canandaigua Wastewater Treatment Facility on 7/18/22):
Current level: 688.24
Desired level: 688.50
Gates, Outlet: North and South Gates Closed
Gate, Feeder: 0.30ft open
Current Water Quality
Today, CLWA kicks off the 5th season of our HABs Volunteer Shore Monitoring Program. In 2018, the goal of having “more eyes on the lake” began with a pilot program including 16 volunteers making weekly observations in 18 zones. We are very proud of the community’s interest and engagement, helping to expand the program to 70 volunteers/zones this summer! We also very much appreciate the generosity of the fellow lake association pros at Seneca Lake Pure Waters for sharing their operational and technical expertise.

With the advances in Limnology (the study of inland aquatic ecosystems), more is known about the contributing factors of Harmful Algal Blooms than when we began in 2018. As we mentioned last week, algae are vital for healthy water systems, providing food and habitat for aquatic life. Blue-green algae or cyanobacteria, have existed for billions of years, and have evolved during that time. They are terribly effective at sinking to the lake bottom and rising to the surface as sunlight and food (nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen) become available. They are always present in the lake and generally only pose concern when their abundance reaches the level of a bloom. (Please see HABs links below.) We are now learning through multiple projects with researchers at Finger Lakes Institute, Cornell, and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry that:

  • There are several different species of Microcystis in Canandaigua Lake and their composition may be different from those in neighboring Finger Lakes. Some Microcystis species are known toxin producers.
  • Recent research also points to the increasing importance of the role that nitrogen plays in the composition of the cyanobacteria community.
Our ongoing efforts with our research partners aim to provide a greater understanding of these issues. Our lake is a fascinating and delicate treasure!

ZERO blooms reported so far by CLWA HABs Shoreline Volunteers, the Watershed Manager, or the community at large.

If debris (“seaweed,” sticks, dead fish) has washed ashore following the strong winds during the last week, please remove promptly to prevent the decaying matter from adding nutrients to the lake.

Please enjoy the season and stay informed about lake conditions!

Here are 3 images using our new ioLight microscopes from lake samples taken on Tuesday 7/19/22; identified by Dr Greg Boyer, SUNY-ESF.

Microcystis Smithii, cyanobacteria
Microcystis Aeruginosa, cyanobacteria
Daphnia, planktonic crustacean commonly called water fleas, (with cyanobacteria in the alimentary canal)

Stay cool out there and have a wonderful weekend!