Bloom Watch Week 1 - August 5-11, 2019

2021 Week One HAB Results

08/09/2021 2:48 PM | Kaitlin Fello (Administrator)


Observation Dates: Thru 8/8/2021
% Zones Monitored: 75%
Suspicious Blooms:  0
Confirmed Blooms:  0

Week 1 is in the books and there were no blooms found. Not unusual for Seneca Lake in early August. Week 2 began on August 9th.

Check the Pure Waters HAB website ( for the latest information. The real-time bloom scorecard tabulates the number of reported blooms and surveys on the lake “today”, “this week”, and “last week”. There is also background information and links for more details.

As the team watches for the first blooms, the question always comes up about whether they can be forecast. The short answer is no, however, there is an interesting federal program that might allow us to detect increased cyanobacteria activity before actual blooms occur. The Pure Waters HAB program is monitoring satellite products designed to detect cyanobacteria to see if there are satellite detections before our volunteers see blooms. So far this summer, there have been virtually no satellite detections of cyanobacteria in Seneca Lake, whereas there have been in nearby Finger Lakes.

Cyanobacteria Assessment Network (CyAN)

CyAN is a multi-agency project among the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to develop an early warning indicator system to detect algal blooms in U.S. freshwater systems.

EPA's Cyanobacteria Assessment Network mobile application (CyAN app) is an easy-to-use and customizable app that provides access to cyanobacterial bloom satellite data for over 2,000 of the largest lakes and reservoirs across the United States, including all the Finger Lakes. EPA scientists developed the app to help local and state water quality managers make faster and better-informed management decisions related to cyanobacterial blooms.

The app allows the user to select points of interest and then provides the latest results when cyanobacteria were detected, including enhanced satellite imagery. The images are color coded for cyanobacteria intensity from violet to red—low to high. No response (i.e., clouds block the view) pixels are black. Non detects are gray.

Since Seneca Lake is large and tends not to show detections, the HAB team selected a nearby lake that almost always shows cyanobacteria. That way, an image is almost always available (with about a 1-to-2-day lag time) for the whole lake.

The first image below is the entire image from August 4th that contains the Finger Lakes. These high-resolution images allow the user to zoom in to individual lake data with 300-meter resolution. The second image shows the southern portion of Seneca Lake, along with Keuka, Lamoka, and Waneta Lakes. There is a small detection on the eastern arm of Keuka, bluff side, but hard to see at this zoom level (much easier with the original picture). The small lake showing cyanobacteria returns southeast of Watkins Glen is Cayuta Lake.

More information on the Cyanobacteria Assessment Network (CyAN) can be found on the EPA website:

More information on the CyAN web-based and Android applications is found at

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