Blue-green algae pop up at popular lakes

Stock photo of blue-green algae

HONEOYE LAKE -- A summer bummer at some of the most popular hot spots.

Blue-green algae is keeping swimmers out of public beach areas in Honeoye and Canandaigua Lakes. Experts say the summer invader grows depending on the weather.

The sun, warmth, and calm lake water all play a part in the increase of blue-green algae blooms.

Jordana Hinkson took a 40-minute drive from her home in Livingston County to Sandy Bottom Beach at Honeoye Lake on Friday.

"We have to drive at least to Canandaigua," Hinkson said. "There's not very many places to take [my daughter] swimming."

Sandy Bottom Beach has been closed since Tuesday.

"We definitely have to change where we want to go and we can't come here," Hinkson added.

Remnants of blue-green algae can still be seen in the weeds along the shoreline area of the beach. Thursday night, however, storms washed away the rest.

"This is clearly a regional problem," said Terry Gronwell, President of the Honeoye Lake Watershed Task Force. "The state recognizes that it's a regional problem."

Gronwell says he took samples of the lake on Monday. Results of those samples showed low levels of blue-green algae. By Tuesday, Sandy Bottom Beach was covered in blue-green algae.

"Blue-green algae blooms are very dynamic," Gronwell said. "They can come and go rapidly or they can come and stay for weeks at a time. You'll never know."

Researchers at Cornell University and the Finger Lakes Community College are currently working on studies to see how weather and other factors contribute to algae blooms.

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