Lake Lanier algae bloom

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Lake Lanier algae bloom

From the Lake Lanier Association yesterday

Quote:
On October 20, LLA received the first report of a suspicious algae bloom in the Flat Creek area. Since that original report four other areas have been documented as having the same distinct type of bloom. On October 21, LLA took a sample from the Flat Creek bloom to run an Algae and Toxin Identification test. We received the results of that test this week and it seems as though the crazy circumstances of 2020 seem to keep on coming.

The main algae species came back as a Cyanobacteria which is commonly referred to as blue-green algae. Additionally, the Cyanobacteria bloom was producing Microcystin, a cyanotoxin. The level of toxin detected was below the 'safe recreational standard'. Even with it being below the standard and technically 'safe for recreation' at the time that we took the sample, we emphasize that humans and especially dogs and other animals avoid areas with these types of blooms are occurring. Additionally, from the appearance, we can also deduce that the blooms in the four other locations were distinctive enough to also be Cyanobacteria blooms.

We believe that Zeta and the cold snap dissipated many of these locations, however please continue to be on the look out. If anyone sees an algae bloom or bright green water please let us know so that we can track these occurrences and get a better idea of what is going on.
What Does This All Mean?
We still have a lot to learn about the algae make up in Lake Lanier. There is not a need to panic as these blooms were small and in areas right along the shoreline. Lake Lanier water is overall safe for recreational use. Though as we stated in our last email, First and foremost, as you do anytime you or your furry friends go into the lake, make sure that the water in the area you will be using is free of discoloration, abundant algae growth debris build up or any odors. If you see any areas of algae growth like the ones pictured, ensure that your pets (and you) do NOT enter the water. Dogs are more sensitive to cyanotoxins and they will ingest the water as they play in it.

It is also not clear whether if we see these types of blooms this year we will see them again next year. The storm that came through created the perfect conditions of heavy rains and nutrient inputs followed by hot clear days which allowed these blooms to grow.
Where Do We Go From Here?
The important thing is that everyone in the community continues to work to reduce nutrient inputs into the lake and that these efforts only increase over time. The focus has to be on preventing this from happening moving forward. It is far easier to prevent a problem than to fix it once it occurs on a wide scale basis. As a community in the Lake Lanier Watershed we all have to be cognizant that what goes on our lawn or down the storm drains washes into Lake Lanier during heavy rains. Additionally, sediment from construction sites, malfunctioning septic tanks, pet and geese waste, sewage treatment and agricultural practices all are contributing phosphorus into the Lake. As the leading lake advocacy group we will continue to push for the right protections in the right places. Additionally, we will continue to gain knowledge around these types of events and as we take additional steps and learn additional information we will be sure to share it with you. Whatever we know, we want you to know.
We want to thank and applaud the homeowner in Flat Creek that originally alerted everyone to this bloom. She spoke up and ensured that her neighbors knew as well to keep their pets out of the water. Additionally, we thank everyone else who has kept their eyes open and reported the other occurrences. Even though no one wants to see these results, it is important that we get ahead of this type of issue. This takes everyone sharing what they see around the lake. We are confidently able to say that this was the first bloom of this type on Lanier and we hope that it is the last!

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Re: Lake Lanier algae bloom

Thanks for posting so we can be aware Lanier has had cyanobacteria blooms. I wonder if the sewage spill contributed.

Barrett

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Re: Lake Lanier algae bloom

Very nasty stuff.

https://www.cdc.gov/habs/pdf/cyanobacteria_faq.pdf

"Why are some cyanbacteria blooms harmful? Cyanobacteria blooms that harm people, animals, or the environment are called cyanobacteria harmful algal blooms. Harmful cyanobacteria blooms may affect people, animals, or the environment by: * blocking the sunlight that other organisms need to live. Cyanobacteria blooms can steal the oxygen and nutrients other organisms need to live. * making toxins, called cyanotoxins. Cyanotoxins are among the most powerful natural poisons known. They can make people, their pets, and other animals sick. Unfortunately, there are no remedies to counteract the effects. * You cannot tell if a bloom has toxins by looking at it."

What happens in a black hole stays in a black hole.

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Re: Lake Lanier algae bloom

I would hate to have algae blooms become a problem on Lake Lanier.

Three years ago I was windsurfing on Presque Isle Bay off Lake Erie and noticed the water looked a bit green and "yucky". I avoided falling in and headed to shore where I discovered this sign. ( I didn't notice a warning sign when I rigged and headed out.) An onlooker pointed out that ever since his dog had become very sick playing in the Bay, he has avoided the water.

Barrett

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Re: Lake Lanier algae bloom

poop Sad

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Re: Lake Lanier algae bloom

Corrected sign

--- The Arrogant Jerk: Crabby and irritable since 1998.

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FoilDodo
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Re: Lake Lanier algae bloom

It certainly has no effect on the surfer boats. They were out and running the day after the spill. Young, careless and stupid, I guess.

What could be better than putting your $150K boat in the water, surfing behind it and getting sick.

PeelSkid

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Re: Lake Lanier algae bloom

Wish I had seen your corrected sign before I entered the water.

Barrett

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Roland
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Re: Lake Lanier algae bloom

Good information, somehow I was in aware of cyanobacteria being toxic.
I need to find out how exactly cyanobacteria is toxic, (outside of possibly ingesting it)?
I know many people, myself included , who are indirect contract with cyanobacteria on a daily basis. I've never seen it in a big lake like Lanier, but I've seen it thick at some smaller lakes.

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moredownhaul
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Re: Lake Lanier algae bloom

Since the main flow of the lake separates Flat creek from Vanns Tavern I hope we were okay today, didn’t see and blue green algae in the coves.

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Re: Lake Lanier algae bloom
Roland wrote:

...I know many people, myself included , who are indirect contract with cyanobacteria on a daily basis.

Would it be inappropriate to ask for more details?

I would imagine that the choppy open water of the main channel probably helps us, too.

Quote:
Cyanobacterial growth is favored in ponds and lakes where waters are calm and have little turbulent mixing.[30] Their life cycles are disrupted when the water naturally or artificially mixes from churning currents caused by the flowing water of streams or the churning water of fountains. For this reason blooms of cyanobacteria seldom occur in rivers unless the water is flowing slowly. Growth is also favored at higher temperatures which enable Microcystis species to outcompete diatoms and green algae, and potentially allow development of toxins.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyanobacteria

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Roland
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Re: Lake Lanier algae bloom
webguy wrote:
Roland wrote:

...I know many people, myself included , who are indirect contract with cyanobacteria on a daily basis.

Would it be inappropriate to ask for more details?

I would imagine that the choppy open water of the main channel probably helps us, too.

Quote: Cyanobacterial growth is favored in ponds and lakes where waters are calm and have little turbulent mixing.[30] Their life cycles are disrupted when the water naturally or artificially mixes from churning currents caused by the flowing water of streams or the churning water of fountains. For this reason blooms of cyanobacteria seldom occur in rivers unless the water is flowing slowly. Growth is also favored at higher temperatures which enable Microcystis species to outcompete diatoms and green algae, and potentially allow development of toxins.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyanobacteria

Im in the Aquarium business and maintain fish and live animal habitats for many retail stores in GA. About 25% of them battle cyano at any given time. The concerns of it's toxicity in Lakes makes me wonder if there's some precautions we should take dealing with it in our aquatic habitats
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webguy