01 August 2014: Yet another algae bloom in progress

Jack Holland and I performed out bi-monthly water quality monitoring boat trip this morning and obtained a secchi disk reading of 1.80 meters (5.9′) indicative of an algae bloom in progress. This does not come as a huge surprise since we’ve entered a bloom state about this time of year for the past 4+ years. Still, it was an unpleasant discovery. I’ve posted today’s data on the Clary Lake Water Monitoring Data page. Scott Williams of the Volunteer Lake Monitor Program has been notified of the bloom.

anabena03Algae blooms are caused by the out-of-control growth of blue-green algae known as cyanobacteria. The most common cyanobacteria is Anabena, shown at left. Algae feeds primarily on phosphorus washed into the lake by runoff  and released from bottom sediments in low-oxygen conditions. Undoubtedly the 7.65″ of rain and the resulting runoff we received in July contributed to this bloom, but the lower water levels resulting in reduced lake volume and sediments exposed to wave action and erosion certainly didn’t help any. Here are some pictures of what we can look forward to in about 2 weeks: