From Amanda Bell, Hydrologist, USGS Upper Midwest Water Science Center
The State of Michigan has selected water bodies of high importance to study for harmful algal blooms (HAB) based on recreational or drinking water use. US Geological Survey (USGS) will work with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) to enhance current monitoring and response in the state by conducting additional sampling and incorporating sensor and satellite technologies. The objective will be to validate data from the Cyanobacteria Assessment Network (CyAN) application and use sensor data to develop HAB predictions at selected lakes in the state.
As part of their annual HAB sampling EGLE collects samples from lakes that are experiencing visual blooms. At selected lakes, water samples will be collected by USGS on a biweekly schedule. EGLE will collect water samples from these lakes as part of their ongoing HAB response network. The CyAN Application will also be used to determine lakes that maybe experiencing a HAB, and may warrant a response-based water sample. EGLE and USGS will work together to determine threshold criteria for response samples based on CyAN imagery data. In addition to water sampling, buoys will be deployed by USGS at selected lakes in the 2021 growing season. In conjunction with the CyAN application data, the buoy data will be used to determine lakes that maybe experiencing a HAB. Using predetermined thresholds of the measured parameters, notifications will be sent to selected personnel as to when a HAB may be occurring. Comparing the collected parameters and the results from the water samples we will be able to determine the cyanotoxin concentrations and potential for cyanotoxin production during times of possible HAB occurrence, therefore allowing us to ground-truth the use of additional real-time buoys in more locations and ground truthing the CyAN imaging in more lakes.
These are the lakes being sampled this summer:
Hardy Dam Pond
Paw Paw Lake
Van Etten Lake
Not all of the lakes will be sampled next year as there is only funding for 8 buoys so lakes that had active blooms this year would be the priority to have additional sampling next year and have the buoys deployed.
For more information about HABs, The Michigan Riparian magazine had an extensive article in the Summer 2020 issue and we encourage you to visit the EGLE website: www.michigan.gov/habs
If you believe you are experiencing HABs on your lake, you can contact EGLE: 800-662-9278 or AlgaeBloom@Michigan.gov