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Enhanced monitoring to commence for 4 lakes within Central Algoma

Thursday, April 11, 2013   by: Staff



Bi-weekly enhanced monitoring will commence this year for four lakes within Central Algoma

Local lake volunteers will be responsible for sample collection bi-weekly from ice out to November on Bright Lake, Caribou Lake, Desbarats Lake, and Little Basswood Lake.

The first three lakes have a history of algal blooms over several years while little Basswood an upstream lake of Bright Lake, a non-bloom lake, will also be sampled to help identify factors that may distinguish bloom and non-bloom lakes.

Environmental factors such as water chemistry, lake temperature, dissolved oxygen, and climate factors will be carefully tracked.

The Ministry of the Environment (M.O.E ) states that between 1994 and 2011, the number of algal bloom reports in Northern Ontario increased significantly. 

The greatest increase in frequency was the cyanobacteria blooms (commonly termed “blue-green algae") which accounted for 50 percent of all reported blooms in peak years. 

As of 2009 cyanobacteria blooms had been confirmed in 66 lakes throughout the province; of the 24 lakes with reported blooms in 2009, most were located in Northern Ontario.

The data collected will be used to describe cyanobacteria dynamics and identify environmental factors associated with the onset and duration of algal blooms. 

This study is being conducted in a partnership with the Ministry of the Environment’s Lake Partner program (LPP), the Central Algoma Freshwater Coalition, and the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations. 

The current LPP sampling methodology will be adjusted to include the additional sample collections. 

The training workshop for volunteers was recently held in Bruce Station.

“The Central Algoma Freshwater Coalition is very excited about this opportunity to enhance the understanding of algal bloom dynamics and to mitigate their impacts. To be asked to participate in the project is a huge compliment for the work and dedication of the many volunteers who care about the quality of water in their lakes.” - Edith Orr, president of CAFC.

The Central Algoma Freshwater Coalition (CAFC) is a not-for -profit organization dedicated to the protection, improvement and restoration of the watersheds throughout the Central Algoma Region, a region that stretches from the easterly boundary of Sault Ste. Marie to the easterly boundary of the Municipality of Huron Shores (including St. Joseph Island).


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