Sample results show Cayuga Lake harmful algal blooms had high toxin levels

It’s not just Owasco and Skaneateles lakes that have had high levels of toxins in their harmful algal blooms. Cayuga Lake’s blooms are just as concentrated and just as bad.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program collects samples of algae as part of its efforts to monitor water quality across the Finger Lakes.

Results from a sample collected on Sept. 20 from the northwestern shoreline showed chlorophyll a levels nearly 40 times the DEC’s threshold for measuring a bloom at 995.5 micrograms per liter. Chlorophyll a is one of the indicators the DEC uses to determine a harmful algal bloom. Microcystin, the most common toxin found in blooms in New York state, was found at nearly 12 times the DEC’s threshold at 241.43 micrograms per liter.

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