Water Quality Update for September 10, 2021

In this issue:

  • Water Quality Update for 9/10/2021
  • Thank You for Lighting up the Lake with LED Flares! 
  • Reminder: DEC Gill Netting



So far this week: 

  • 27 surveys performed 
  • No Blooms Reported

Welcome to the 11th edition of your Friday water quality update. These updates are done in partnership with the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council (intermunicipal watershed organization consisting of the fourteen watershed and water purveying municipalities). 

Current Water Quality Status 

We are happy to report that for the second week in a row, no blooms have been observed by volunteers or watershed staff. We did have two suspicious reports come in last weekend, but upon further investigation of the photos submitted, it was determined that both reports were of watermeal / duckweed and were not harmful. 

Secchi disk volunteers are reporting water clarity readings in the 4.8 – 6.9 meter range so far this week, with an average of 5.86 meters of clarity. We have been holding in this 5-6 meter range for the last 2 weeks. Secchi disk readings are very important this time of year – if we begin to see a sharp drop in readings (down to the 3-4 meter range), that may indicate an increase in algal productivity and signify an upcoming bloom event. We thank the ongoing efforts of our secchi disk volunteers for providing this helpful reports! 

The six Canandaigua Lake water purveyors (the City of Canandaigua, the Village of Newark, the Village of Palmyra, the Village of Rushville, the Town of Gorham, and Bristol Harbour) continue their routine testing of both raw (untreated) and finished (treated) drinking water for microcystin (the toxin that may be produced by cyanobacteria / blue green algae).  All results to date have come back as non detects. Results are uploaded weekly on the CLWA website

Overall, the water quality observations and data collected this week are quite promising. However, it is important to remember that conditions can change quickly on the lake. Typically, we have seen our most significant bloom events in the early to mid-September timeframe.  Please continue to use your visual indicators and look for signs of a HAB before swimming or letting pets into the lake. Blooms may appear as discolored water, surface streaking of blue green algae (cyanobacteria) or pea soup conditions. 

Volunteers and watershed staff will be continuing daily observations throughout September and we will communicate any significant changes in bloom activity through our weekly email updates, on our website, and on our facebook page. 

If you have a question on a suspected bloom, please feel free to send in a photograph to HABs@canandaigualakeassoc.org.

Thank You for Lighting up the Lake with LED Flares! 

CLWA would like to thank all of our supporters that made the conversion this year to LED flares for Ring of Fire! It was wonderful to see so many LEDs lighting up the lake. We’ve had great feedback about the program – many folks have reached out saying all their neighbors opted for LEDs this year, and sharing that the conversion was the right thing to do to help protect the lake.  It’s by far MUCH easier cleanup –  just think of all the day-after flare residue that we prevented from entering the lake!

If you plan to store your LED flares for use next year: remember to switch off the flares and remove the batteries. You can preserve the life of your batteries by removing them if you don’t expect to use the LED flares for extended periods of time. 

CLWA thanks you for being an active part of watershed protection efforts! We have the best members and supporters.

A very special thank you also goes out to CLWA Members Greg Talomie and Charlie Constantino for spearheading this great initiative and getting LED flare placement in Wegmans! You can expect a full report on the success of the program in a future communication. 



REMINDER of DEC Gill Netting : Keep an Eye out for the Orange Buoys

DEC Aquatic Biologist Pete Austerman reached out to let us know that the DEC will be doing some more gill netting during the weeks of September 6th and September 13th. They will be using fine mesh gill nets to monitor forage fish populations (primarily alewife and smelt). Boaters may observe orange buoys and will want to avoid the nets as some of them are near the surface and could get caught in boat props.