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HABs emerge on Canandaigua Lake

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Recent reports highlight the emergence of cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms along Canandaigua Lake’s shoreline.

The past few days’ hot temperatures coupled with minimal wind have proven conducive to cyanobacteria’s growth and shoreline accumulation.

While most blooms were observed on the lake’s east side, a recent report noted a west-side occurrence as well. Volunteers and watershed personnel have been documenting these conditions and collecting samples for analysis at the Finger Lakes Institute in Geneva. Given past data, these blooms might contain high toxin levels.

Residents and visitors are urged to exercise caution: avoid green-tinted waters or areas resembling pea soup, and safeguard pets from these regions.

CyanoHABs, sometimes termed blue-green algae due to their hue, are crucial for consuming vast atmospheric carbon dioxide amounts and releasing oxygen. However, at heightened concentrations, they can emit toxins detrimental to humans and animals. Warm summer months can intensify these blooms, which may appear suddenly and last varying durations.

Given the potential toxicity, avoiding direct contact during active blooms is advised. For visual identification, blooms often resemble pea soup, spilled paint, or possess surface streaks, predominantly in green, blue-green, or yellow shades. The DEC provides a comprehensive photo gallery for further identification.