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Loch Lomond Algae Bloom


Quillback

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Received this from the lakes biologist today, posting it here for your reading enjoyment:

A number of things are happening in the lake right now causing some aesthetic issues for sure. We just treated the shoreline areas of the lake with an unrestrictive, copper based algaecide to kill the substrate algae which is the slimy looking filamentous algae that grows from the lake bottom when the water is clear and also floats on the surface. That algae was really bad this year and has been getting worse each year since 2010.

The lake is also currently experiencing a significant planktonic algae bloom, causing the water to turn very green as you’ve noticed today. This lake does this every spring and early summer and sometimes it is more dense of a bloom than this. The good thing is, as I point out every year, the planktonic algae causing the very green water limits sun-light penetration to the lake bed and therefore helps prevent further growth of the substrate algae that we really do not want. The timing of the plankton bloom along with our algaecide application couldn’t have worked out better to help eliminate the substrate algae that has been so prominent this spring.

The plankton bloom is due to all the nutrient laden rainwater runoff into the lake over recent weeks following an extended period of drought along with rising water temperatures and the accumulation of massive amounts of pollen entering the water providing another nutrient input. To further complicate matters, the pollen is collecting on the surface of the water which tends to create surface scum in coves and areas that are wind-blown. This pollen input, along with plankton bloom and dying, floating substrate algae can make for some unpleasant looking water for a few days in some areas. Perhaps you’re cove was treated heavily with the algaecide and there is a little residual coloration in the water from that, which can be a little milky blueish colored in appearance, but I haven’t really noticed that before.

Largemouth bass spawning is very, very delayed this year due to the unusually low water temperatures which are due to the unusual cold fronts that keep coming through. Bass are still holding eggs, but should be nesting and spawning now since we’ve seen water temps rise again for a few days in a row. But the green water will prevent us from seeing the nests except in the shallowest water. We have watched the water temps rise into the low sixties and then fall into the high fifties each week for four weeks now. This is confusing the fish and therefore the fish biologists also. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Black bass biologist said that bass are holding eggs all over the state and the spawn is delayed all over the state, also.

I think you’ll find the water will start looking better over the next few weeks. I hope so. Thank you,

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