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Harmful Algal Bloom Updates

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  • 03/15/2023 12:04 PM | Kaitlin Fello


    Halfman, J.D., M. Horvath, E. Swenson, M. Geiger, I. Dumitriu, T. Massey & L. Cleckner, 2023. 2022 Nearshore Monitoring of Cyanobacteria (Blue-Green Algae) in Seneca & Owasco Lakes. The Final Report to the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association, Fred L. Emerson Foundation and Cayuga County. Finger Lakes Institute, Hobart & William Smith Colleges. 76 pg.

  • 10/09/2022 9:25 PM | Deanna Fello (Administrator)

    Observation Dates: Thru 10/09/2022
    % Zones Monitored: 27%
    Suspicious Blooms:  2
    Confirmed Blooms:  2

    This past week we saw two blooms on Wednesday, October 5th, in the Northwest and Southwest regions. No other blooms were reported. 

    Sunday marked the end of the Pure Waters official HAB shoreline survey season although many volunteers will be continuing to monitor and reporting through the end of October. In previous years, we have seen blooms as late as the 3rd week. 

    After a fairly strong start in mid-August, this summer has seen only a few light and scattered HABs since. There were very few HABs in 2020 too and we surmised that winds might have something to do with it. That is still a possibility, but we don't know for sure. 

    We expect to have a webinar later this fall covering the HAB season in more detail and compare it to other years and lakes. Stay tuned for more information. 

    Finally, thanks to all the shoreline volunteers. You have done another great job this year and we hope you will return next year. That said, we still need more help - not only as shoreline volunteers but to help manage the program. If you or someone you know is interested, please sign up at the Pure Waters website.

  • 10/02/2022 9:11 PM | Deanna Fello (Administrator)

    Observation Dates: Thru 10/02/2022
    % Zones Monitored: 40.5%
    Suspicious Blooms:  6
    Confirmed Blooms:  5

    Last week Seneca Lake had blooms on Friday, September 30th. In total we confirmed five blooms from the Geneva lakefront and along the northeast shoreline. In addition, there was another report that cannot be confirmed because there were no photos. Canandaigua Lake saw blooms the same day. 

    This week is the last official week of the HAB shoreline survey season although volunteers will continue to monitor through the month of October. As many will remember, we had a very large bloom last October 6th and a few smaller ones later in the month.

    Blooms are unpredictable, so we urge everyone to know what blooms look like and check the water before going in or allowing pets to go in.

  • 09/25/2022 8:43 PM | Deanna Fello (Administrator)

    Observation Dates: Thru 9/25/2022
    % Zones Monitored: 43%
    Suspicious Blooms:  1
    Confirmed Blooms:  1

    There was one small bloom last week in the Northeast region. Other than that, the weather was generally not conducive to bloom formation. Saturday was a possibility, but no blooms were reported. 

    Canandaigua Lake had a few blooms on Saturday, but generally the mid-Finger Lakes continues to be pretty quiet as far as blooms go. 

    Seneca Lake coverage is starting to slip as people leave the lake for the season or take the opportunity to travel. We still have very good shoreline coverage and if there are significant blooms, we have high confidence we will find them. 

    We appreciate the vigilance of our volunteers. There are two more official HAB survey weeks, but many volunteers continue to monitor through October. 

  • 09/18/2022 8:31 PM | Deanna Fello (Administrator)

    Observation Dates: Thru 9/18/2022
    % Zones Monitored: 56%
    Suspicious Blooms:  1
    Confirmed Blooms:  1

    This last week was another slow week for Seneca Lake HABs. Only one very light bloom was reported, and confirmed, near Sampson State Park last Tuesday. This September continues its unusually quiet performance compared to years past. 

    Canandaigua did report some blooms last Saturday, but they have been quiet too. Keuka has been quiet as well. Cayuga had a few reports last Tuesday and another on Wednesday. So, the central Finger Lakes have all been somewhat less active this year than typical. Of course, that can all change in an instant as we saw in October of last year. 

    We are now in Week 8 of 10 as the formal monitoring season will end on October 9th. In the meantime, our volunteers continue their vigilant shoreline monitoring to help inform you, the public, about the status of our lake.

  • 09/11/2022 8:22 PM | Deanna Fello (Administrator)

    Observation Dates: Thru 9/11/2022
    % Zones Monitored: 51%
    Suspicious Blooms:  0
    Confirmed Blooms:  0

    This past week was another quiet one for HABs, with only one confirmed bloom reported on 9/9/22 in the Glenora area of Seneca Lake.  43 zones were covered, or 51%.

    The week was characterized by rain and clouds as well as some winds, which likely meant the weather was not conducive to bloom formation. That said, Canandaigua and Cayuga Lakes did report blooms during the week. 

    We are still in the prime bloom season, so volunteers will continue their diligent monitoring and reporting. 

  • 09/04/2022 8:16 PM | Deanna Fello (Administrator)

    Observation Dates: Thru 9/04/2022
    % Zones Monitored: 48%
    Suspicious Blooms:  1
    Confirmed Blooms:  0

    The HAB season has reached week five, halfway through our monitoring season. The week leading up to Labor Day was quiet for HABs, with no confirmations on Seneca Lake. The weather hasn't been conducive for blooms as the rain and winds are keeping the surface water mixed. September is still prime time for HAB occurrences, and the forecast shows some 80° sunny days later this week.

    2020 saw few bloom days in comparison to other years and we believe it was in large part because of the winds. September is usually the calmest month of the year, but 2020 saw many breezy days. Seneca Pure Waters’ volunteers will continue to keep watch through the first week of October and as the season for recreation on Seneca Lake begins to wind down.

  • 08/28/2022 8:09 PM | Deanna Fello (Administrator)

    Observation Dates: Thru 8/28/2022
    % Zones Monitored: 62%
    Suspicious Blooms:  0
    Confirmed Blooms:  0

    Zero blooms were reported last week, which may come as a surprise since the week prior they were pervasive. It is not atypical for HABs to come in "pulses". Two weeks ago, blooms were fairly intense for mid-late August. Last week saw some days that appeared to be conducive for blooms, but with no sign of them. 

    Typically, the first of September, or Labor Day Weekend, sees extensive blooms. So as we move into next week, we can expect to have some HAB action.

    The HAB map on the Association website is now active, and you can see where blooms have been found this year on Seneca Lake. Keep in mind that HABs can form anywhere on the lake, whether it be along the shoreline or out in the middle of the lake, and generally form on calm days. Look at the images below to familiarize yourself with what a HAB looks like and when in doubt, stay out!

  • 08/21/2022 7:59 PM | Deanna Fello (Administrator)

    Observation Dates: Thru 8/21/2022
    % Zones Monitored: 7%
    Suspicious Blooms:  49
    Confirmed Blooms:  39

    Week three of the Seneca Pure Waters' Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring season is in the books and there were several blooms found. We had 59 zones covered or about 70% of the actively monitored zones.

    As many of you already know, last Tuesday volunteers spotted the first blooms of the season. The timing was consistent with previous years--third week of August. Significant bloom activity occurred on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. The winds picked up Sunday and although we do not anticipate blooms during windy conditions, there was a bloom spotted in the docking area along the Geneva lakefront. 

    Blooms were spotted in all four quadrants, but by far the most were found on the eastern shore, mostly toward the northern end of the lake. In addition, volunteers reported visible Cyanobacteria blooms far away from shore in both the north and south. 

    We also received many emails with photos from the general public, plus a few phone calls expressing concern. We appreciate the support and interest. 

    Last week's blooms were more intense than we typically see at the very beginning of the season. What this means for the rest of the season is unknown. In 2020, August was fairly active, but September was very quiet. We will remain vigilant, so stay tuned. 

    It is important to remember that blooms are transient. They come and go. Our volunteers are not out looking every day and we cannot monitor the entire shoreline. Therefore, it is important for everyone using the water now to know what HABs look like and to avoid them when they are visible. HABs occur frequently in shallow, still water and are often seen in marinas.

  • 08/16/2022 7:36 PM | Deanna Fello (Administrator)

    Observation Dates: Thru 8/14/2022
    % Zones Monitored: 70%
    Suspicious Blooms:  0
    Confirmed Blooms:  0

    Week two of the Seneca Pure Waters' Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring season is in the books and there were no blooms found. We had 57 zones covered or about 70% of the actively monitored zones.

    Although we did not have any blooms again this past week (8/8/22 - 8/14/22), we did have our first reports of HABS today, 8/16/22.

    First reports were from the Southwest region but two more report have come in from the Northeast, so they are out there around the lake. They were first spotted away from shore late morning, but drifted to shore in early afternoon. The cyanobacteria detected is widespread and not very intense. It appears as green and cloudy streaky patches along the shoreline.

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Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association

P.O. Box 247

Geneva, NY 14456


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