ALGAE IN ALBERTA LAKES MAP EDMONTON
Algal blooms have occurred in Alberta lakes for centuries. Because they can produce liver toxins and neurotoxins that can be deadly if swallowed, it is wise to familiarize yourself with some facts about algae.
Make sure to stay out of water with an algal bloom or visible scum within one metre of a lake’s surface. Although not every algal bloom is toxic, some varieties cause rashes and hives. Keep pets out of algal blooms and make sure they do not drink lake water. Toxins take time to break down, so wait at least two weeks after a bloom disappears before entering the water.
Every July, Alberta lakes warm up, and sometimes reach 25°Cthe perfect temperature for maximum blue-green algae growth. Warmer temperatures swell growth, and high total phosphorus concentrations caused by low dissolved oxygen concentrations over bottom sediments contribute to the problem.
As blue-green algae forms thin layers near a lake’s surface, wind and waves move the bloom toward shore, where it collects and decomposes, producing a strong odour. Algal blooms vary from year to year, depending on nutrient availability, air and water temperatures, overall sunlight, and wind velocity. A lake that experiences blooms one year may improve in subsequent years.