Blue-Green Algae

Loon Lake is a private lake located in Wayland, New York, approximately 30 miles southeast of Geneseo. Over the past few years the health of Loon Lake has been declining, as evidenced by increased water turbidity and more frequent blooms of cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria, otherwise known as blue-green algae, are a type of photosynthetic bacteria that occur in many bodies of water, and can sometimes produce toxins that if ingested can be harmful to humans. This study examined Loon Lake during late summer and fall 2015 to characterize the timing and species composition of cyanobacterial blooms, and to investigate factors that trigger the onset of these events. Species identification and quantitative analysis of cyanobacterial abundance were made from skim samples that were also tested for toxin production using an enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) technique. Measurements of lake water quality parameters were taken using a Hydrolab profiling unit. Chlorophyll levels, phycocyanin levels, and turbidity were measured from samples at depths of 1 meter, 3 meters, and 6 meters. The study found that two cyanobacterial blooms dominated by species of the widespread genus Anabaena occurred late in the fall. However, neither of these blooms produced toxins on a high enough level to be harmful to humans. Evidence suggests that high wind events may have caused partial mixing of the water column and phosphorus upwelling prior to each bloom. Additional studies of cyanobacterial blooms and water column mixing are required to confirm this connection.

The full Report by Janelle Goeke and Isidro Bosch (SUNY Geneseo professor) can be read by clicking the link below. Your Microsoft Word program should open and then the report should appear.

Goeke & Bosch Report Loon (1)