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Two new HABs spotted on Seneca Lake last week

Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association reports that harmful algal blooms continue to pop up in the southeast portion of the lake.

The group’s weekly report for August 31st highlighted two more bloom confirmations in the southeast part of Seneca Lake.

“Both happened on Friday, August 28th and were in adjacent zones just south of last week’s bloom. We have seen a lot of westerly and northerly winds, which may be why the Southeast has been the hot spot so far,” the group said in a press release.


They say that the first week of September is when the first series of widespread blooms occur on Seneca. A real-time scorecard is being kept updated at www.senecalake.org/blooms.

There are many types of cyanobacteria, but the one we most typically see in Seneca Lake blooms is Microcystis. It is a concern because it generates the Microcystin toxin. Microcystis is a cyanobacteria genus. A common freshwater species within the genus is Microcystis aeruginosa, which is globally distributed and we do see it in Seneca Lake.

These cyanobacteria can regulate their buoyancy, but once at the surface they are at the mercy of the wind and currents. Therefore, small wave action or other water movements can concentrate blooms and form various large-scale patterns such as streaks or swirls.

Other cyanobacteria generally seen in the lake are Dolichospermum (formerly Anabaena) and Pseudoanabaena. These both colonize in linear patterns rather than round clumps. They can also produce toxins, but are usually found in lower concentrations than Microcystis in Seneca Lake.

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