David Hodsdon and Jack Holland completed their routine water quality monitoring task yesterday. I have updated the Clary Lake Water Monitoring Data page. David reports that the secchi disk reading he obtained yesterday (4.92′ or 1.5 meters) without question indicates that Clary Lake is experiencing an algae bloom, a fact that should not come as a surprise if you’ve been out on the lake lately. A lake is considered to be experiencing an algae bloom when the secchi disk reading is at or below 2 meters (6.56′). We’re well into bloom territory.
David has been in touch with Scott Williams of the VLMP about this issue and they may be sending someone out to independently assess the situation. The picture at upper left is from last summer’s bloom. It hasn’t gotten that bad yet.
I’ve written recently about algae blooms (here and here) and why we’re more at risk now because of the extreme low water conditions we’re experiencing. I’m going to get on the phone and rattle some cages.
[UPDATE]: I took a ride around the lake this afternoon- with bright sun shining down, I could just barely make out the bottom in 3.5′ of water off the end of my dock. I took a water sample just a bit ago and examined it under a microscope: it is loaded with Anabena cyanobacteria, the blue-green algae pictured at left that is largely responsible for freshwater algae blooms. The transparency of the lake water has deteriorated seriously over the last month: On the 1st of June the secchi disk reading was 10.1 feet; by the 19th it had dropped 2 feet and in the last 10 days dropped another 3 feet. Transparency is now less than 1/2 of what it was a month ago. They’re multiplying. Fast.