Lake water testing was performed this week. Our indicators that we use to determine if blue-green algae is growing and becoming a concern have improved from the last few weeks. Additionally, the cooler temperatures, especially at night, helped lower the lake water temperature a few degrees, which slows the growth of the green and blue-green algae.
We did not observe any significant accumulations of algae floating in the coves Wednesday morning. But, as always, if you see an accumulation of algae it is advisable to avoid contact.
Our Microcystin readings at every location continue to be very good, way below the Ohio EPA threshold for posting advisories. We are in frequent contact with the OEPA and they are in agreement with that.
We still believe we have had a shift from the species of Cyanobacteria (Planktothrix) that carries the Microcystin toxin. Cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, has many different species, sort of like the dog family has many different breeds of dogs. Some of the species contain significant amounts of the Microcystin toxin, and some don’t carry much at all. We had our Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) DNA tested for exact species identification. Those results were sent to the Ohio EPA and also to a microbiology professor at OSU. Both agreed that we are seeing less of the Microcystin carrying species and more of the less toxic varieties. This is great news and potentially explains why we are seeing the accumulation of algae under certain extreme weather conditions but not the Microcystin toxin levels that we would expect. We are in a new phase of lake water quality, treating more for aesthetic reasons and less for Microcystin.
We will continue to regularly monitor the lake water quality. We have assembled a very diverse and talented group to determine when and how to treat the lake, and we are constantly looking for better treatment and testing methods.
Happy boating, enjoy the lake.