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Canandaigua Lake is HAB Free….So Far


There have been no Harmful Algal Blooms spotted so far on Canandaigua Lake. That was the information shared Friday by the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Association, whose mission it is to preserve, protect and restore the lake and its watershed for current and future generations.

July 21st was the official kickoff of the Harmful Algal Bloom monitoring season. The Association’s volunteers investigated 62 reports of water quality conditions from around the lakeshore. There are no blooms to report this week.

According to the Association’s update, Secchi disk measurements of water clarity in open water areas are looking good, with an average weekly depth of 6.0 meters. They had two new Secchi disk volunteers trained this week, and the Association says they are happy to add a few more locations to the map for routine reporting.

Friday afternoon, they did check out the pier in response to a suspicious bloom report, but it did not end up being a HAB. However, some areas around the pier have aquatic plant fragments matted together and areas of murky, greenish water.

Cyanobacteria, sometimes referred to as blue-green algae because of their color, are among the oldest organisms on Earth, and they are ubiquitous in all water environments. Although we tend to think of them as being harmful, and they can be, they are also precious to life on Earth because they efficiently consume large amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide and release oxygen during photosynthesis. However, in highly dense concentrations as seen in blooms, they can produce several toxic compounds that are hazardous to people and animals. Although several algal species (called phytoplankton) contribute to the blooms we see in our lakes, the most abundant and dangerous is a group (genus) called Microcystis.

During the warmest summer months, there are conditions that exist that may promote the formation of CyanoHABs. They can appear quickly and persist for hours or days, or they can disappear almost as quickly as they formed. Since previous research informs us that high levels of toxins may accompany the blooms, humans and our pets should avoid coming into contact with the water when an active bloom is observed. Contact a healthcare professional if you feel you are experiencing any symptoms associated with CyanoHABS.

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