Don't Feed the Weeds.....or Algae!

CWC’s launched a “Don’t Feed the Weeds!” campaign in 2007.  It is a lake nutrient-reduction program aimed at raising awareness of the link between the amount of nutrients (such as phosphorus) entering Chautauqua Lake and how it contributes to the Lake’s excessive weed growth and algae blooms.  The program is also aimed at informing residents on what they can do to help reduce the amount of nutrients entering the Lake.  Its most visible contribution are the hundreds of “Don’t Feed the Weeds!” lawn signs distributed throughout Chautauqua County.

Algal blooms appear to be a new addition to the occasional inability to enjoy Chautauqua Lake and other lakes in the county.  The presence of algae is not new, but the increasing number of blooms seems to be.  A bloom occurs when the proper growing conditions and abundant nutrients allow the algae to multiply.  A bloom often appears as green-colored water, a thick scum or even a leathery mass.  If a blue or turquoise color is present, it is often called “blue–green” algae, which is really cyanobacteria.  This type of bloom is often called a “hazardous algal bloom" (or HAB) because toxins released by the bacteria are harmful to animals and humans.  

Hazardous algal blooms are being monitored by the New York Citizens’ Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP) and the New York State Health Department.  If you observe a blue-green scum, keep yourself and your pets out of the water.  Please report the bloom to the local contact person at 716-665-0721.  Please give your name, the location of the bloom and a phone number where you can be reached. 

So what can you do to help?  

Be sure to avoid contact for you or your pets with algal blooms areas and call 716-665-0721 to report them.