LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Last month, the Lake George Association took a new step in protecting Lake George from threats by invasive species. The LGA’s AlgaeWatch program is still just setting off, but has already produced results that are protecting the lake and those who swim in it and boat on it.
This week, the Department of Environmental Conservation disclosed that two harmful algal blooms were found on parts of Lake George in late October – both identified thanks to the new system. Neither bloom has been deemed toxic.
The two HABs were identified in different bays. One was found on the shoreline of Basin Bay, a small bay between the village and Bolton Landing, home to hotels and restaurants. A volunteer algae watcher submitted the information regarding the bloom’s location after spotting it.
The second was found at Bolton Bay, in the area of Bolton Landing. It was found based on DEC maps. Both blooms have been tested, and determined to be non-toxic.
The AlgaeWatch program is rooted in community action. Those who live or work around the lake are asked to keep an eye out for signs of algae growth. Not all algae indicates the arrival of a harmful bloom. Once algae is reported to the AlgaeWatch website, the LGA and DEC step in, investigating the site and taking samples to test.
The LGA is advising swimmers and boaters against interacting with any water where suspicious algae is growing. It typically isn’t possible to determine toxicity safely without testing, which takes time. Drinking untreated water from any lake should always be avoided.
The LGA says that sunny, calm and warm conditions create an ideal breeding ground for cyanobacteria, which make up algal blooms. Cyanobacteria can resemble pea soup, or show up in streaks or spotty patches on water.