Monday, July 30, 2012

Rare algae for Lake Superior shows up near Cornucopia

Samples of a “green scum” reported by visitors to Lake Superior beaches from Cornucopia to Sandy Bay on July 14-15 were confirmed to contain a species of blue-green algae. By July 15, the algae bloom was breaking up

Many species of blue-green algae, including those collected from Myer’s Beach, are capable of producing toxins. Toxins are not produced all of the time and there is no easy way to tell when blue-green algae are producing them and when they are not, according to water quality experts. The samples collected at Myer’s Beach July 14-15 did not contain any toxins.

...Blue-green algae blooms are extremely unusual in Lake Superior because the water is generally very low in nutrients and cold. However, the floods in June flushed nutrients and sediment from the land into the lake. Combined with the warm weather, conditions may have been just right for the algae to multiply. The species that was identified at Myers Beach has been known to “bloom” in other nutrient poor lakes under the right conditions.

Superior Telegram -
27 Jul 2012
Location: Cornucopia, Wisconsin, USA - View on GeoNames Map

Friday, July 20, 2012

Harmful algae bloom reaches eastern Lake Erie

... According to Susan Bell, a storm water sanitarian with the Lake County Health District, harmful algae bloom, previously limited to the western end of Lake Erie, has moved eastward this year. She points out that there have been no beach closings in Lake County, however. The microcystin toxin has been detected, but at concentration levels below the threshold that would endanger health. (Those levels are set by the Ohio Department of Health.) -
17 Jul 2012
S Woodthorpe
Location: Lake Erie, Ohio, USA

Thursday, July 19, 2012

2 sturgeon found washed ashore off Lake Huron

At least two lake sturgeon, which are designated as a threatened species in Michigan, recently have been found washed ashore along Lake Huron.

Lynn Whittenburg, of Lakeport, told The Times Herald in Port Huron for a Saturday story that she found a 3-foot-long sturgeon this week on a beach. A 4-foot-long sturgeon also washed ashore in Fort Gratiot, northeast of Detroit.

"Three at one time isn't something that I get really concerned about, but it does have me kind of watching what's going on," Thomas said. "There have been instances in the past where lake sturgeon have turned up in higher numbers than that, and it has been linked to botulism."

If a dozen or so of the large fish begin to turn up over the next week or so, Thomas said he would start an investigation.

Petoskey News -
15 Jul 2012
Location: Fort Gratiot - Map It ; Lake Huron - Map It , Michigan, USA

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

$3M allocated by Ohio to fight lake's algae blooms

Up to $3 million in state funding has been allocated to combat harmful algae infestation in Lake Erie, with several hundred thousand dollars committed to starting a program this month to help farmers reduce hazardous runoff during rainstorms, officials said Tuesday.

About $200,000 of the Healthy Lake Erie Fund has been appropriated for a program of soil testing, nutrient monitoring, application certification, and installation of controlled drainage devices on Ohio farmland that will help curb phosphorous runoff into lakes and tributaries, said Karl Gebhardt, deputy director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

The money was put forward to match a $900,000 federal grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Lake Erie Restoration Initiative Fund for which state officials have applied. -
11 Jul 2012
R Redfern

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Event Highlights Lake Erie’s First Seasonal Algae Forecast

On July 5, NOAA and partners officially announced the seasonal harmful algal bloom (HAB) forecast for Lake Erie, the first in the Great Lakes region, during an event hosted by Ohio State University Sea Grant’s Stone Laboratory. Following on the heels of the worst HAB season in decades, NOAA predicts the 2012 season will be a mild one, a welcome change for residents and managers who have seen increased HABs in the region since 2008.