HABs Updates

Hazardous Algal Bloom Updates

2019 Updates will start when monitoring begins for the season.

Thursday, August 9, 2018 at 3:15 PM

Michelle Henry, HABs Harrier

  • East Shore was clear this afternoon.
  • The rain this week has created a sediment loading plume
  • Both Cayuga Inlet and Fall Creek were sending a plume to the south shelf today.

Thursday, Aug 2, 2018 at 11:55 AM

Claire Weston, Community Science Institute

Two samples were taken from zone 3404 (the east shore of Cayuga Lake in Springport, NY) and sent into UFI for analysis. Claire Weston, HABs Program Manager, sent an email to the NYSDEC containing the following information:

  • One of the samples (collected in 10 days after the first one in the same location), contained a significant amount of duckweed and green algae, as can be seen in the following photo:

  • Because the sample was primarily composed of duckweed and green algae, it looked “quite harmless,” but the testing found that it contained a microcystin concentration greater than DEC’s 20 ug/L “confirmed with high toxins” threshold.

  • This sample is not yet “confirmed with high toxins.”

  • This sample is interesting because it tested positive for a high microcystin concentration, but did not look like a toxic bloom.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at 3:32PM

Tom Casella, HABs Harrier

The following photo shows a mass of cladaphora at a residence on Bonnie Banks Road in Canoga, found on 7/29/2018.

“The cladaphora washed up on shore the week before and built up very thick before going septic.  What a stink! There were actually two locations. This one is the more dramatic.”

Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at 1:04 PM

Bill Foster, Discover Cayuga Lake

In preparation for the upcoming Women Swimmin’ for Hospice Care, many HABs Harriers have been on special alert to gather information to predict the possibility of HABs on the swimming route. Bill Foster, of Discover Cayuga Lake has said:

“Given our observations on the lake 2-4 times/week, my feeling is that algae blooms are to some extent predictable.  We can see the conditions building, and the presence of the right organisms in our plankton samples. We will be out there several times during the week of August 6-10, and we’ll offer whatever insights we can.”

Wednesday, Aug 1, 2018 10:22 AM

Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association Shoreline Monitoring Program

Identifying and Reporting Harmful Algal Blooms

The Shoreline Monitoring program began in 2014 with a simple phone number, the HABs Hotline. In just four short years, the program has evolved into a successful collaboration with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) and Finger Lakes Institute (FLI) at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Last year, 80 volunteers from the Seneca Lake community submitted weekly reports of shoreline observations to the NYS DEC for the months of August and September. August was uneventful, however, the last two weeks of September, the conditions were ideal for algal blooms. Pure Waters received reports of suspicious algal blooms from around the entire lake with volunteers collecting over 60 suspicious bloom samples for analysis at Finger Lakes Institute.

The laboratory tests confirmed that 50 of the 60 samples were in fact Harmful Algal Blooms and that 22 out of the 50 HAB samples produced high levels of toxins.

The chart below shows a dramatic increase in Harmful Agal Blooms found in Seneca Lake.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018 6:33PM

Bill Foster, Discover Cayuga Lake

  • No blooms observed on the south end of the lake (at least nothing widespread)

  • clarity of 1.25 M over the weekend, and a continuing cyanobacteria bloom

  • clarity increased to about 3.5m on Monday and Tuesday → and the  cyanobacteria bloom was nearly 100% gone.

    • In their place is an incredibly high concentration of the rotifer keratella, along with a fairly high number of mussel veligers.

    • A few other zooplankton- copepod nauplia, leptadora and fishhook waterfleas, mostly, but very little phytoplankton presence in the upper 10 M of water.  

Friday, July 20, 2018 at 8:24AM

From: Steve Knapp, SE Quadrant Coordinator

  • 6 samples were collected in the SE Quadrant → all tested positive for the cyanobacteria Dolichospermum.  

    • Results from toxicity analysis tests are pending  

Monday, July 16, 2018 at 12:28 PM

From: Andrew Yale, Quadrant Leader

  • toured the west shore a mile and a half south of the yacht club and a mile south of Bolton Point on the east shore → All looked good except extra green.

Monday, July 16, 2018 at 6:41AM

From: David Walter Wolfe, HABs Harrier

  • Sunday was a little worse than last week for HABs around zone 3417, East shore, just South of Lake Ridge Point

  • Striations parallel to shore at surface extended beyond the end of the docks, but more obvious in the shallows near shore and in some places more concentrated than observed last week.

Sunday, July 15, 2018 10:19PM

From: James Michael Gossett, HABs Harrier

  • zone 3418 (South of Lake Ridge Point) surveyed on Saturday around 11:30AM and observed no striations or high surface concentrations.  

  • Harrier reported generally turbid, green water on Sunday

    • Took sample at Lion’s dock Sunday afternoon

    • Sample was so dispersed and dilute to see cyanobacteria.  

  • Harrier observed lake-wide, green turbid water, where turbulence is possibly preventing aggregation into visible bloom events.

Thursday Juy 12,  2018 6:27PM

From: Amelia DD Stevens

  • Observed 6 miles north of Taughannock Park on the west side of the lake

    • bright green, little flecks, and floats in the top 6 inches of the water

    • present 40 or 50 feet from shore as well

    • Was present on July 4th as well, and perhaps other calm days.  

    • It was not present (or noticeable) yesterday when it was quite windy,  with whitecaps on the lake.


7/8/18  11:19 AM

Algal bloom sited around 100 yards north of Glenwood Point on the West shore of Cayuga Lake, and on the East shore across from Glenwood (north of the Bolton Point water system)

  • Approximate coordinates for West shore bloom were 42.497164, -76.539446

  • fairly extensive on both shores

  • Looking down you could see green particles and in places, it appeared as green streaks.

  • Boats and people seen in the water on both shores

  • First bloom we have observed on the Southern end this year.

Dolichospermum sample collected on the East shore using a plankton net and doing a surface skim:

7/4/2018 11:47AM

Discover Cayuga Lake: 

From mid-lake, between Bolton and IYC: Images of co-occurring phytos:

  • possible coleospherum, but I really am not confident- we saw a few of these;

  • another possible cyan (no ID)

  • a lot of filamentous greens, just for the record.  

    • Concern that the heavier looking filament could be a oscillatoria or something similar, but I do not believe so.  

Transect 1 sample – coleospherum


Transect 1 sample – possible Cyano


Transect 1 sample – anabaena

  • quite a bit in our samples

  • mixed into the water column and not blooming, as of 1:00pm on 7/3

  • ciliates attached to them


Transect 1 sample – filamentous mystery

7/4/18 1:21 AM

Bill Ebert: CSLAP Update

  • Performed CSLAP monitoring at site 3 off the mouth of the inlet, and further north, mid-lake between Bolton and the Yacht Club.

    • No blooms observed on the south end of the lake

    • Observed a modest concentration of anabaena (Dolichospermum), which until now has been absent

    • Observed new population of filamentous greens, tentatively ID’ed as coleospherium

7/3/18 8:45PM

Joseph Nielsen-Reagan, Floating Classroom Intern: Weather Update

The surface temperature of the lake was about 18.5 degrees Celsius with a mid-lake thermocline sitting between 12 and 13 meters deep. The temperature changed by 1.1 degrees over this 1 meter expanse and was the greatest such change measured on the day. At the coordinates: latitude 42.47, longitude -76.515, the blue-green algae Anabaena was found. So were the green algae Zygnema and Spirogyra, the diatoms Asterionella, Nitzschia and Fragillaria. In the middle of the lake we found the blue-green Anabaena and the diatom Nitzschia. Within the Marina were the green Zygnema, blue-green Anabaena, Aphanacapsta (or more likely) Coleospheorina, the Cyclopoid copepods and Nauplius, and Bosmina, the rotifers Conochilis, Keratella, Synchaeta, Asplancha and Hexarthra, and the brown Dinobryon.

7/2/18 1:56 PM

Bill Ebert: Weather Update

I expect this wind driven current effect is dramatically in play this year. I took a boat ride on Sat. and found the water temp at 69 degrees here at my dock and 78 on the Union Springs side. The wind has been consistently south for days ahead of this, causing the surface water to go east and upwelling at the west side. I’ve looked for this for 20 years and have never seen such a temperature delta. I was stunned at how dramatic it was on Saturday.

The water was very clear on the west side and some algae on the east side. Lots of algae on Sunday afternoon mid lake to the east shore. Not surprised to read of Long Point Park closed due to algae. The water temp is up here on the west side late Sunday.

I did look at the Hibiscus Cove water reported Saturday afternoon and found no HAB’s but lots of ugly water with some sort of moss like algae floating and macrophytes – sago pondweed, curly leaf pondweed, some eelgrass and chlodophera. Not inviting at all around the dock area.

http://oceanmotion.org/html/background/upwelling-and-downwelling.htm read that Long Point is having problems.

The wind driven current needs to be included in our thinking of the Lake. It’s perhaps why more weeds and algae seem to be on the East shore.