Bacteria Bloom Found In Lake Memphremagog
Staff Writer | Orleans County Record
Monday, July 23, 2012
Bacteria blooms were found on the Canadian side of international Lake Memphremagog recently.
Memphremagog Conservation Inc. announced the situation on Thursday to alert lake residents and users to be on the look-out for the potential toxic development.
The cyanobacteria is a distinctive blue-green color and is sometimes called blue-green algae. It can produce a toxic residue that can cause illness in pets or children.
MCI patrols and a number of lakeside residents near Magog last weekend and on the western edge of the lake near Knowlton Landing on Monday took pictures as evidence of bacteria bloom and reported it to MCI and to the Quebec environmental ministry.
Those who saw it said it was spread across a wide area on the lake and into depths of the water, MCI reported in a statement.
The bloom looked like cream of broccoli soup or pea puree in color, they reported. The water was murky and opaque with a film on top, signs of a significant bloom, MCI officials said.
MCI, which is made of up members on both sides of the border, asked its members and others to be on the lookout for the bacteria bloom.
The bloom likely occurred because of hot weather and rains that pushed high levels of phosphorous-laden runoff into tributaries of the lake.
This isn't the first year that bacteria blooms have been reported in the lake. Studies have shown that the lake, which is very shallow on the southern end and in some bays, is aging quicker than it should because of excess runoff.
Homeowners along the shores of the lake's tributaries and on the shoreline are encouraged to keep a natural buffer zone of vegetation along the water's edge to keep the water cool and to collect runoff rather than let it run from cut grass right into the lake.