Hi Sunfish Lake Association members,

Our Water Team along with Jill Crumb from Treefrog Environmental and Drewe Elliott from the University of Waterloo were out for our regular water monitoring/testing yesterday and unfortunately, found that our “bad blue” algae is now outnumbering our “good green” algae.  While we wouldn’t classify this as a cyanobacteria outbreak and we aren’t seeing the oily slicks or significant accumulations of algae that would cause immediate concern, it is troubling to see ratios that should have green algae clearly dominating 3:1 or 4:1 instead showing potentially toxic blue algae dominating 1.5:1 or 1.2:1.

It shows that our lake has tipped and we aren’t sure what might happen over the next couple of weeks.  Just because we have lots of blue algae (cyanobacteria) doesn’t mean that it will release the toxins that it is capable of.  Things could tip back to good green algae dominating, or because of all the excess nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen that the blue algae can use so effectively and that abounds in our waters right now we could see significant algae blooms, slicks, and a myriad of issues in the days/weeks ahead.

We will continue to monitor things and will have groups of researchers out over the next few days.  We would certainly urge caution around the lake – particularly those with dogs who might not be as careful at avoiding algae as people might.  Also, those drawing water from the lake should be particularly vigilant too.

Please let any member of the Water Committee or Executive know if you see anything unusual or have any questions.  You can learn more about cyanobacteria at our website at  www.sunfishlake.ca