What’s that in My Lake? Green Goo or Genus Mougeotia? Pam Wilkinson
On July 13 Rick Sullivan and I attended a Citizen Science Training Workshop on Cyanobacteria Monitoring & Bloom Watch app with Hilary Snook, EPA senior scientist. His work involves the coordination and management of water quality and aquatic biological monitoring surveys for the region, and provides a supporting role for national aquatic resource surveys presently being initiated by the EPA. He has implemented ecological assessments of condition for wadeable streams, large rivers, lakes and ponds, and near coastal waters for the past twenty years. This workshop provided hands-on information about monitoring techniques for cyanobacteria that can cause harmful algal blooms (HABs). Participants received in-depth training on the Cyanoscope kit, www.cyanos.org , including how to use the equipment and report their findings. Surrounding volunteers of watershed associations, lake associations, town health and conservation officials, and people interested in citizen science projects attended this forum. We attend this forum because over the past few years we have seen green algae blooms come and go. We wanted to identify what we had, what can we do about it and share it with our membership. A sample was taken and placed under a microscope. A key showing of different types of algae. Due to its structure the Metaphyton was identified as Genus Mougeotia, and in simple terms Green Algae that has an appearance like green cotton candy which is not toxic. This link will provide more details: http://algalweb.net/Mougcult.htm . It lurks in the sub straits of the water column, as seen by Rick when he is doing his bi-weekly testing, giving poor secchi discs readings. Then when the water warms and the sun light becomes strong trapped gases will cause it to float to the surface. Wind is another factor. It will appear in a couple of days, typically last a couple of weeks, die and while decomposing sink to the bottom; if close to shore its appears as scattered brown residue. Weather seems to be a factor. While run-off caring phosphorous exacerbates growth we were without rain for a period of time this summer. This caused the lake to remain more stagnant than usual and not flushing water down to Hopkins Dam. Other lakes this year experienced the same phenomena. While the lake association is trying to
grapple with how to remediate, the best plan is to rake your beaches in the fall to eliminate decaying leaves which create nutrients for algae growth. If you find algae in the summer use a pool net to scoop the goo and place it in your flower gardens, it has lots of nutrients for growth! Notify our water quality team by either contacting Rick Sullivan or Kevin Kaserman, contact information is on our website www.littlesebagolake.com . They will record where it is located, date and visit the site if needed. The session we attended also provided a worldwide site to record your blooms with pictures, dates and notes, https://cyanos.org/bloomwatch/ . While this is still new to us, we will do our best to make sure we provide the most current information and document where it is happening for future reference.