People and pets urged to stay out of shallow areas of the lake

Blue-green algae blooms are intensifying along shoreline areas of Canandaigua Lake, and everyone is urged to use caution recreating anywhere on the lake.

The Canandaigua Lake Watershed Association reported several shoreline areas on Tuesday showed significant streaking and surface scum algae accumulations.

“Although yesterday's blooms were not experienced lake-wide, the areas they were observed were severe in some cases,” stated the update. “Reported blooms were seen in coves, shallow beach areas, by docks, or trapped in corners of a break wall — areas where blooms get trapped or pushed by wave and wind action. Unfortunately, these easy-access areas are also where people are most likely to enter the water or have their pets swim. With lake conditions changing so frequently, it may not be worth the risk of having pets swim in the lake. Even areas that look clear may not be low-risk.”

Twelve samples were collected as part of the shoreline HABs network and were brought to the Finger Lakes Institute for screening with the Fluoroprobe. If samples come back with high levels of blue-green chlorophyll through this screening process (confirming bloom status), they will be sent on to the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s designated lab for toxin analysis.

“While FLI results should be forthcoming in a few days, the toxin analysis can take much longer. This emphasizes the need to use extreme caution when recreating in the lake,” warned CLWA.

The cooler weather and periods of rain forecasted the next week to 10 days may alleviate some of the chances of HABs (harmful algal blooms) — or they may not. According to the CLWA, “We are still learning what triggers blooms, and there is no way to predict when or where they will occur. However, they seem to pop on the calmest of days — days with no wind, and very little water movement to mix surface layers.”

Each of the public water suppliers continue to sample their water, and the treated water results do not detect the blue-green algae toxin.