BFS Water Testing Identifies Increased Bloom Conditions, Elevated Toxins
OTSEGO LAKE—SUNY Oneonta’s Biological Field Station completed another round of regular water quality testing on Otsego Lake on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 5 and 6 as part of the ongoing evaluation of harmful algal bloom conditions. Shoreline sites were sampled on Tuesday, followed by open-water sites the next day.
Colonies of the cyanobacteria Microcystis were present at moderate to high levels at all test area and associated toxins were found as deep as 13 feet in open water. Shoreline bloom conditions were observed during sample collection and elevated toxin levels were detected in isolated debris patches that were not obviously HABs. Microcystin toxins were especially concentrated at the Cooperstown Country Club docks, the BFS Main Lab and Springfield Public Landing. There were noticeable concentrations at open-water sites in all areas of the lake.
High temperatures and sunny weather increase the likelihood of blooms, especially during afternoons. Localized blooms can form and disperse intermittently, rapidly, and without warning. Lake users should continue to utilize caution, avoid and report discolored or cloudy water or accumulations of foam or debris, and keep young children and pets away from the lake. At the time of shoreline sampling, Springfield Public Landing had the only obvious HAB and was clearly posted with warning signs. The public is urged to report suspicious conditions to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation using the tool at https://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/83310.html#Report.