With Sodus Bay being one of three target boat launch sites on Lake Ontario for the Finger Lakes Institute Watercraft Steward Program, the very current and serious issue of toxic algal blooms will be given close attention. The harmful algal blooms that are spreading throughout Sodus Bay are a prime example of human created lake disturbances. Just as human action is the major cause of invasive species introduction into lakes, such is also the cause of the algal blooms which grow as a result of high levels of nutrients in water bodies from human activity.
In 2009, a study was funded by the State Department of Health to generate a better understanding of the toxic cyanobacteria that is thought to come from algae, and its potential to make people sick or seriously ill. This particular study includes water quality testing of many New York State lakes including three of the Finger Lakes: Honeoye, Owasco, and Canandaigua. The funding will continue through next year, but even after the major study has been completed, it will be important to remain on the lookout for the presence of this issue in all water bodies.
Take a look at this June 10th, 2012 Democrat and Chronicle article by Steve Orr which details the potential health hazards associated with blue-green algae, and how we can protect our lakes, and consequently ourselves, from it. Read the entire article.
On May 20th, 2012, Spirogyra, a green filamentous algae, could be seen along the southwest shore of Honeoye Lake. Photos generously submitted by Don Cook.