Water uality Update for August 20, 2021

In this issue:

  • Water Quality Update for 8/20/2021
  • What are those little green “blobs”?
  • About HABs: photos, resources, and further reading


So far this week: 

  • 33 surveys performed 
  • 5 suspicious blooms reported this afternoon (Friday 8/20) 

Welcome to your Friday Water Quality Update!

This afternoon, we received 5 reports of streaking of cyanobacteria (blue green algae) in the northern section of the lake. We wanted to make the public aware that the calmer, sunnier conditions may allow for concentrations of cyanobacteria to accumulate in isolated areas along the shoreline, or even out on the lake. 

Volunteers are reporting areas of light streaking and suspended algae in the water column (“dots in the water”).

The recent intense rain events on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning (Hurricane Fred) have resulted in high water levels and areas with reduced clarity. While Canandaigua Lake does not have an active boater advisory in effect issued by the Sheriff, we encourage boaters to use caution with their wake and be aware of the potential for floating debris and tree limbs that may have washed into the lake with the recent rains. The southern end of the watershed experienced more runoff therefore has a higher potential for debris. Neighboring Finger Lakes like Keuka, Seneca, and Cayuga were also hit hard by these storms and have seen areas with significant flooding and damage to shorelines. 

Now that we’ve had a few bloom reports come in this afternoon, conditions may be right for more observations of cyanobacteria in the coming days,  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!

What are those “little green blobs” out on the lake? 

Over the past week, we’ve had a few members reach out sharing photographs of what can be logically described as “little green blobs”. 

They have a jelly-like consistency and have been found floating in the lake and washed up on shore. So just what are these things? 



Ophrydium versatile
DEC has identified this as Ophrydium versatile, a harmless protozoan that inhabits freshwater lakes. They are single cells that colonize and resemble a gelatinous mass.  They feed on bacteria and small algae. Fascinating!