Bill Roege, who recently took over as HABs Director for Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association, says the last seven days have proven to be busy for volunteers working around Seneca Lake to identify harmful algal blooms.
Last week, Frank DiOrio was a guest on FingerLakes1.com’s Sunday Conversation, outlining some of the things that SLPWA had seen throughout the season.
The findings were significant.
“Just when we think we have a handle on how the cyanobacteria behave on Seneca Lake, we get surprised,” Roege wrote in an update published on Thursday. “This week our volunteers continued to be alert and it paid off by finding very (to me) unexpected blooms.”
He says that while blooms can appear anytime, seeing them in early- or mid-October on Seneca Lake is unusual. In fact, it’s something that they haven’t seen in five years, according to Roege.
“Tuesday and Wednesday this week were sunny and calm. The water temperature is still warm enough, so poof!…both days we found blooms in the Northeast, Northwest and Southwest quadrants,” Roege wrote in Thursday’s update. “Some were very intense looking.”
There were eight reports of blooms on Tuesday; and six reports on Wednesday. Of those 14 reports – eight samples were taken for lab testing, but he says that two of Tuesday’s samples already returned positively.
That means those samples will be sent for toxin testing. “Three of the other samples will also go for toxin analysis, which will fill our 40 sample DEC toxin analysis quota for this year,” Roege added.
Then, Geneva officials warned residents about an algal bloom, which was observed near the Finger Lakes Welcome Center.
As DiOrio said in his appearance on the Sunday Conversation Podcast, sampling and watching the middle of the lake is a challenge. Roege says that this will be a focus area for 2020.
He says that residents and visitors should be mindful of what’s happening on the lake.
– By Josh Durso