LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Last month, three harmful algal blooms (HABs) were spotted on Lake George. They’re far from the first to leave pea-green blotches on the Queen of American Lakes – but they’re farther up the 32-mile water body than researchers have seen previously.
The trio of blooms were all spotted in one go on Tuesday, Sept. 12. All three are located in Lake George’s northern basin, with one each in Basin Bay, Huddle Bay, and Oneida Bay. HABs form on water bodies for a few reasons – often when given an excess of nutrient runoff to feed on, such as from septic tank runoff or the influence of road salt.
This week, the Lake George Association – which first announced the blooms’ presence last month – was able to follow up with some good news. On Wednesday, the stewardship group confirmed that the blooms had not been found to be toxic in their makeup. The Jefferson Project, which conducts research and monitoring related to lake health, took samples from each bloom last month for study.
It’s going to take some time to extract any further details about the origin of the blooms, but some things are known. In last month’s announcement, the LGA pointed out that this year’s bloom developed a month earlier than the last ones to develop in the lake, which showed up in late October 2022 in Basin Bay and Huddle Bay. No prior bloom on the lake has ever been found to be toxic.
Lake George has seen blooms periodically show up for several years. In 2022, the LGA created its AlgaeWatch project. Volunteers with AlgaeWatch monitor the shoreline and areas around homes and businesses for any evidence of algae growth. The more information the LGA and Jefferson Project have, the better they can respond the next time a potentially hazardous HAB is discovered.
Algal blooms can take on different appearances. They may appear in streaks, cloudy patches, or resemble pea soup. This season’s trio of blooms are all located in the area of Bolton Landing, with none seen as of yet in parts of the lake adjacent to Hague or Silver Bay, further north.