Algal Blooms

wayne gustaveson

Moderator
Staff member
I have received at least two reports of Algal Blooms in northern Lake Powell. This is probably related to hot temperatures and the presence of blue-green algae, which are actually bacteria (cyanobacteria). Some algal blooms are the result of an excess of nutrients (particularly phosphorus and nitrogen) into waters and higher concentrations of these nutrients in water cause increased growth of algae.

Lake Powell does not often have excess nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen. Algal blooms are rare but they have occurred a few times over the past 30 years. Do not swim in really green water. Do not drink the water. Just go to a different canyon or shoreline. I have not personally seen any algal blooms this year so I am not sure of the severity of the problem.

If you have seen green algal blooms please let me know where and how large the bloom appeared. I think these blooms will run their course and disappear soon. Let me know what you have seen and where they were located, so I can be apprised of the problem. Post your information in this thread. Thanks WG

Picture of bad algal bloom (not in Lake Powell).
625682564.jpg
 

Cookie

Well-Known Member
We get these algae blooms on the lake I live on, you can see it. The top water will look oily (like petroleum). And the color will get a bright green. It would only show up near the end of canyons in shallow water. Our water temps get near 85 degree at time, and in some of our coves we are dealing with 10' or shallower with very little water movement. FYI, it doesn't bother the Largemounth.
 

Skibum

Well-Known Member
Out of curiosity, does any alphabet agency at Powell sample and identify the organisms and/or toxins found in the floating brown surface foam pods? Protected coves can get pretty nasty on calm days. I know samples around swim beaches are tested for presence of toxic enteric bacteria.
 
When I was there over the fourth I saw lots of it. It is not like the pictures of it on top of the water tho.
It was everywhere around good hope but they were small golf ball size pieces that were just under the top of the water. Blue green looking. Still clear water but the pieces floating Just under the surface would limit the view.
Looked to me like small sticks 1/16” size or less in areas just above and below the blooms. I figured they were what the bloom looked like before it bloomed. I’m no biologist just a rancher. I looked for pictures but I did not take any that close up to see It in a pic.
 

Neil

Member
Canyon Ferry reservoir near Helena suffers from dense green algae in the shallow upper end from dam. Large amounts of water up to 30,000 cfs flow thru during the spring runoff. Normal summer 3-4000 cfs flows. High water temp 70*. The entire Missouri River flows thru intense farming area, and multiple chemicals are used. The upper end of the lake has the consistancy of thick pea soup. Needless to say it is ugly. This condition has been going on for years. No 3 or 4 letter agencies have any interest in investigating this mess. Part of the reason I moved to Powell.
 

Flipper

Well-Known Member
Found some of this in the back of the first cut on the right in Ticaboo. It was pretty thick, covering about half of the water surface in an area about 2 to 3 acres. There were clumps and large patches several feet across. Saw another patch on the shore line headed east across the bottom of GHB - straight across from the floating crapper. It was from the shore to about 50' out for as far as I trolled which was about a mile down that bank. These were smaller pieces, marble to golf ball sized. Was only up there from late Saturday night till 10 Sunday morning. Mostly chasing stripers, so I was not on the shoreline much.
 

VanillaIceCream

Well-Known Member
When I was there over the fourth I saw lots of it. It is not like the pictures of it on top of the water tho.
It was everywhere around good hope but they were small golf ball size pieces that were just under the top of the water. Blue green looking. Still clear water but the pieces floating Just under the surface would limit the view.
Looked to me like small sticks 1/16” size or less in areas just above and below the blooms. I figured they were what the bloom looked like before it bloomed. I’m no biologist just a rancher. I looked for pictures but I did not take any that close up to see It in a pic.
My kids call those pieces “Teddy Bears”, as sometimes they seem to be shredded Teddy Bears floating in the water.
 

shanewave

Well-Known Member
The lower 20 miles of Lake Mohave are solid algal bloom. This is the first time I've ever seen this in the Colorado River system. I wonder if it is the Indian summer that may be to blame?
 
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