With waterfront property continuing to be developed at a rapid pace, here’s a shout out to those working to improve water quality:  Citizen Lake & Stream Monitoring volunteers and residents who use thick buffers of native plants at the waters edge which slows and filters runoff! 

“When in doubt, stay out.”  That’s the slogan to chant if you suspect blue green algae bloom. 

             

If you are concerned about harmful algal blooms, BloomWatch is an app volunteers can use to help scientists better track and understand them. Download the BloomWatch App and report the blue-green algae bloom on a Minnesota lake or pond.

The MN Pollution Control Agency announced a couple new, simple methods to identify blue-green algae blooms but warns they’re not fool proof as false negatives are possible in certain situations.  For the most part, they can be considered cheap and reliable for helping to identify potentially harmful algal blooms.

JAR TEST: This test is based on the idea that most blue-green algae communities are free floating and buoyant. So, if a water sample left in a jar develops a green ring of algae at the top over time, it likely consists of blue-green algae. If the algae settles to the bottom of the jar, it is likely your lake does not have a lot of blue green algae. 

STICK TEST: Poke the mat of scum floating on the lake surface with a big stick. If the stick comes out looking like it has been dipped into a can of paint, the material is likely blue-green algae. If the stick comes out with green strands like hair or threads, the material is probably filamentous green algae, which may be a nuisance but is not a health hazard. 

Check out the interesting info/photos excerpted in this blog:  Transparency Times newsletter at https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MNPCA/bulletins/1ef0067