HABs

This harmful algal bloom was spotted near the Geneva lakefront in 2019.

GENEVA — Last week, Seneca Lake had one of the most widespread events involving harmful algal blooms since 2014, according to the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association.

SLPWA monitors discovered two days of blooms on the north shore of the lake at Geneva’s Lakefront Park and at Seneca Lake State Park. Volunteers along the northwest shore, from Long Point to Geneva, reported and documented extensive blooms along the shoreline and well into the lake.

In addition, the Hobart and William Smith Colleges research vessel William Scandling reported blooms in the middle of the lake, as did SLPWA monitors on the northeast and southwest shorelines, and on the southeast shore.

“This bloom was very intense. Some longtime residents remarked that they had never seen anything like it,” said Bill Roege, SLPWA’s HABs director. “The blooms lingered all day and into the evening, but winds picked up and the blooms broke up the next day.”

In total, 30 blooms were reported in all areas of the lake.

SLPWA officials said Canandaigua, Cayuga and Keuka lakes also experienced extensive bloom events.

“The very calm winds likely contributed, but given the days were cloudy and water is getting very cool, there is some mystery as to what triggered an event so widespread and intense this late in the season,” Roege said.

Roege said HAB volunteers captured extensive documentation and dock-mounted cameras will provide additional information. SLPWA also received many public reports and photos via its HABs email and hotline.

People can access volunteer monitor reports at senecalake.org/blooms.

The SLPWA shoreline monitoring ended last weekend, but some volunteers will continue their work until the end of October, the organization said.

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