23 May 2021: Relax, It’s Tree Pollen!


Tree Pollen on Clary Lake

While this looks similar to the end stage of an intense algae bloom, it’s really only plant pollen. One telling difference is the color: this stuff is decidedly yellow whereas dead cyanobacteria is bright green.  I suspect it’s pollen from White Pine though I’m not sure. In any case, it’s a natural phenomena and there is no reason to believe pollen has an impact on water quality though for a short time it can impact lake water transparency. While it looks ugly, it is of a short duration and will eventually disperse into the water column and sink. Another difference between pollen and algal blooms is the timing: pollen events happen in the Spring whereas algae blooms are typically a mid-to-late Summer and early Fall phenomena. Here are a couple of pictures of cyanobacteria on my shoreline taken in October of 2013. The color is decidedly different:

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The more you know!

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