Algae bloom is typical condition for ...

Algae bloom is typical condition for Clear Lake

There are 44 comments on the Lake County Record-Bee story from Jul 28, 2010, titled Algae bloom is typical condition for Clear Lake. In it, Lake County Record-Bee reports that:

As predicted the algae is back on Clear Lake and local residents are demanding the county do something about it.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Lake County Record-Bee.

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LORI C

Lucerne, CA

#1 Jul 28, 2010
I'm sorry but when I was a child coming up to Camp Konocti from S. F.
I do not recall the foul smells ......
Tel

Healdsburg, CA

#2 Jul 28, 2010
That's because when you were a kid dodging dinosaurs kept you plenty busy.
LakeGuy1

San Jose, CA

#3 Jul 28, 2010
Terry, what do you not get? The majority of people, that live around Clear Lake, want the algae gone. We do not like the smell and the health risks that come with it. Your response of "clearing the entire lake of algae is impossible" is defeatist. Other states use algeacides to clean up their lakes. So the algae has been around for thousands of years is also a irresponsible statement. We want it gone and I thought that a portion of our taxes should go to that instead of the bass tournanments that you trumpet every month.

Since: Mar 09

Clearlake, CA

#4 Jul 28, 2010
I have spoken with families that have been here for generations. One of them is 80 years old.
He said that there were a few bad years here and there way back when, but he thinks something is definitely wrong.
If scientists cannot figure out what is wrong with this Lake, how can the scientific community claim to understand our world climate?
Is the problem a lack of resource to apply to the problem? Could the BOS secure a loan or get a grant to bring more researchers to study the problem? Or is there a fix that environmentalists will not allow? The public should be told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
"The smell is natural", well, so is the smell of human excrement, but we found a way to deal with that in an appropriate manner.
Long Time Resident

Santa Cruz, CA

#5 Jul 28, 2010
Quagga mussels love to clean up lakes.
Just take a look at the Great Lakes. The water's never been better in the last half century!

I say go Quagga!
Provocateur

San Francisco, CA

#6 Jul 28, 2010
If ignorance is bliss, why aren't more people happy?
Resident

Lucerne, CA

#8 Jul 29, 2010
Today in the Clearlake Observer American , front page." Lake County Enviromental Health has issed a warning against swimming , ingesting or COOKING with water from the affected areas." Seems a clear warning there is more to this algae than thought.
Concerned 1

United States

#9 Jul 29, 2010
Resident wrote:
Today in the Clearlake Observer American , front page." Lake County Enviromental Health has issed a warning against swimming , ingesting or COOKING with water from the affected areas." Seems a clear warning there is more to this algae than thought.
It was issued last year also.....This is why LC needs a dose of NEW BLOOD!.....The same old same old from the BOS is doing nothing...
Another tourist season done and it's not even August...
drno

Fremont, CA

#10 Jul 30, 2010
Resident wrote:
Today in the Clearlake Observer American , front page." Lake County Enviromental Health has issed a warning against swimming , ingesting or COOKING with water from the affected areas." Seems a clear warning there is more to this algae than thought.
That's because there is probably e coli in the water. ask the county to show their lab results
Sarah Ryan

Fremont, CA

#11 Jul 30, 2010
CLK Dad wrote:
I have spoken with families that have been here for generations. One of them is 80 years old.
He said that there were a few bad years here and there way back when, but he thinks something is definitely wrong.
If scientists cannot figure out what is wrong with this Lake, how can the scientific community claim to understand our world climate?
Is the problem a lack of resource to apply to the problem? Could the BOS secure a loan or get a grant to bring more researchers to study the problem? Or is there a fix that environmentalists will not allow? The public should be told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
"The smell is natural", well, so is the smell of human excrement, but we found a way to deal with that in an appropriate manner.
Cyanobacteria becomes prolific when the nitrogen:phosphorous ratio gets disturbed and more phosphorous enters a water system. Phosphorus is a natural element and is bound up in sediments. It is also something that is in fertilizers, pesticides (organophosphates) and storm water runoff carrying mentioned items to the creeks and lake. We all need to look at our own use of pesticides and fertilizers. We also need to look at marijuana production and the runoff from that. And let's not forget the high levels of e coli found in the blooms last year.

The organophosphates used in Lake County are the following and in the following amounts in 2008 (the most recent year on California Dept of Pesticide Regulation website) http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/pur/pur08rep/chem... :
Malathion (361 lbs, mostly on structural pest control)
Chlorpyrifos (102 lbs, mostly on walnuts)
Diazinon (312 lbs, almost all on pears)
Phosmet (32 lbs, all on pears)
Azinphos-methyl (273 lbs, all on pears)
Brad King - kville

San Mateo, CA

#12 Jul 30, 2010
Good post Sarah.
=====
Re: E. Coli...
Here's a quote from the Wiki.
Environmental quality

"E. coli bacteria have been commonly found in recreational waters and their presence is used to indicate the presence of recent fecal contamination, but E. coli presence may not be indicative of human waste.(REPEAT THAT ALOUD FOLKS-BK) E. coli are harbored in all warm-blooded animals: birds and mammals alike. E. coli bacteria have also been found in fish and turtles. Sand and soil also harbor E. coli bacteria and some strains of E. coli have become naturalized. Some geographic areas may support unique populations of E. coli and conversely, some E. coli strains are cosmopolitan.(Ya hear that Cletus? We mights be Cosmerpolitician!)
Mars

Lucerne, CA

#13 Jul 30, 2010
First, the problem “algae” are cyanobacteria. They are not a plant. Second, there are many kinds of lyngbya cyanobacteria as well as other types of cyanobacteria often found with each other, some being quite toxic. The type mentioned in the lake has been stated as lyngbya birgei, which is not toxic, generally, but lyngbya can emit saxitoxins and aplysiatoxins which effect skin and gastro-intestinal areas. I have also detected what appear to be at least two other cyanobacteria in the Austin Park area: anabaena and oscillatoria which can carry and emit microystins, anatoxin-a and (S), and aplysiatoxins, effecting the liver, and nerve synapse.

The drinking water is not tested for cyanotoxins. The Lake County Heath Department cannot itself test for cyanotoxins in the Lake, nor can the Department of Water Resources. They must send samples elsewhere for these tests. Where, when, and how often were these samples obtained? By who? One sample or how many were tested? What was actually tested within the samples, in detail? This information is critical to know the validity behind the statement “no toxins were detected” which I deem highly questionable.

The Clear Lake water body had become polluted in my opinion, and not only with cyanobacteria. Given the past and emergent research regarding the health hazards of cyanobacteria, and the importance of Clear Lake water, the present testing, safety and protection operations are inadequate.
Brad King - kville

San Mateo, CA

#14 Jul 30, 2010
Well, for once, I'll admit this is going above my pay grade. Normally , I'm trying to keep the conversation into the definable and provable and away from the "smells like poop - must be poop" nonsense.

The idea that we should put commerce above ecology has been a disaster, not only making our lake a poster child for unforeseen circumstances, but in worldwide examples of industry-first mega eco-disasters in the Caspian Sea or Lake Baikal, to name only two.

But it's obvious we can not let the status quo stand either. The calls for more research, information and the best plans we can conceive and execute should be always pursued. Knowing how much these new changes in lake biology effect our environment are no exception.
Sarah Ryan

Chico, CA

#15 Jul 30, 2010
Brad King - kville wrote:
Good post Sarah.
=====
Re: E. Coli...
Here's a quote from the Wiki.
Environmental quality
"E. coli bacteria have been commonly found in recreational waters and their presence is used to indicate the presence of recent fecal contamination, but E. coli presence may not be indicative of human waste.(REPEAT THAT ALOUD FOLKS-BK) E. coli are harbored in all warm-blooded animals: birds and mammals alike. E. coli bacteria have also been found in fish and turtles. Sand and soil also harbor E. coli bacteria and some strains of E. coli have become naturalized. Some geographic areas may support unique populations of E. coli and conversely, some E. coli strains are cosmopolitan.(Ya hear that Cletus? We mights be Cosmerpolitician!)
Brad, until someone does DNA testing, we don't know for sure whether it is human waste e coli or not. The levels within the lyngbya bloom were over 2000 MPN last summer. The water quality standard for e coli levels in Clear Lake in order to keep it safe to recreate in the lake is the following (from the Water Quality Control Plan (Basin Plan) for the Sacramento and San Joaquin River Basins, September, 1998:
Numerical Objective:“In waters designated for REC-1, the fecal coliform concentration (based on a minimum of not less than five samples for any 30 day period), shall not exceed a geometric mean of 200/100 ml, nor shall more than 10% of the total number of samples taken during any 30-day period exceed 400/100 ml.”
GitRdone

Clearlake, CA

#16 Jul 31, 2010
The one thing that is for sure. Talking it to death will not fix anything. It seems as though that is way of the folks who are supposed to be "experts" or are "concerned" about the Lake.
Just keep talking and stalling until it is too late in the season to do anyhting.
Maybe that is the objective......to do nothing.
MendoLady

Ukiah, CA

#17 Jul 31, 2010
When i was a kid, the water was clear..probably why it was named "clear" lake. One could see 10 feet or more through clear water. I always looked at the bottom before jumping in. Over the years, it's turned a thick green, dead fish have littered the beaches, algea or whatever is out of cntrol. Each year brings it's own set of problems. There is mercury poisoning in whatever good fish is left.
Brad King - kville

San Mateo, CA

#18 Jul 31, 2010
MendoLady wrote:
When i was a kid, the water was clear..probably why it was named "clear" lake. One could see 10 feet or more through clear water. I always looked at the bottom before jumping in. Over the years, it's turned a thick green, dead fish have littered the beaches, algea or whatever is out of cntrol. Each year brings it's own set of problems. There is mercury poisoning in whatever good fish is left.
Back to our regularly scheduled programming...
"Each year brings it's own set of problems." is accurate.
===
OK so what the Wiki made clear is E. Coli is a simple indicator, if the is poop there is E/C, but the presence of E/C does not mean there is poop. The same is apparently true about Cyanobacterial toxicity - even within same strains.

The LC health advisory, in the most simple terms, says don't eat the algae, don't ingest untreated water. Was anyone tempted to do these things? Do we really need a consumer safety tag on the lake? If so, don't forget "Be sure your head is above water surface before inhaling to avoid discomfort or death". I feel so much safer.
===
For those that think something can be done NOW, it's a massive undertaking, as had been made clear repeatedly at the lake information meetings. There are some levels of cosmetic mitigation that can and should be utilized. Long term solutions are YEARS away, but each year this dialog dies away with the bloom. Middle Creek + funding = green lake (not blue-green)
===
Swam in the middle of the Main Body yesterday (Soda Spring - it's cooler) Water reasonably clear, saw two Bald Eagles in formation, nice day on the water.
Sarah Ryan

Fremont, CA

#19 Jul 31, 2010
GitRdone wrote:
The one thing that is for sure. Talking it to death will not fix anything. It seems as though that is way of the folks who are supposed to be "experts" or are "concerned" about the Lake.
Just keep talking and stalling until it is too late in the season to do anyhting.
Maybe that is the objective......to do nothing.
Ok then. Only use non phosphate products in your household. Stay on the county and cities about their wastewater plants and the number of spills that occur. Don't allow anyone you know to use ATVs off paved roads. Don't destroy the tules and other riparian vegetation. Don't allow development at the lake. Require strict controls on agriculture operating near creeks or the lake. Don't allow any development that will use more lake water and allow discharge near the lake or creeks. That's the DOING. Be an environmental activist in other words. Otherwise, you are just complaining.
Provocateur

United States

#20 Jul 31, 2010
When I was a kid gas was a quarter a gallon and movies cost a dime. And Clearlake was 10 feet deep? While looking at a post card from Clearlake from 1964 one thing I noticed was we used to have events on the lake boat races motor and sailing. Water-skiers they even had jumps in the lake for the skiers. Why talk about it just throw some more poison in the the lake and everything will be perfect? It took a long time to pollute Clearlake it will take even longer to repair it.
bass guy

Hidden Valley Lake, CA

#21 Aug 10, 2010
LakeGuy1 wrote:
Terry, what do you not get? The majority of people, that live around Clear Lake, want the algae gone. We do not like the smell and the health risks that come with it. Your response of "clearing the entire lake of algae is impossible" is defeatist. Other states use algeacides to clean up their lakes. So the algae has been around for thousands of years is also a irresponsible statement. We want it gone and I thought that a portion of our taxes should go to that instead of the bass tournanments that you trumpet every month.
Please explain how our tax dollars are being used to fund bass tournaments, and while we're at it how much more poison would you like put in our lake that you seem to be so fond of just so you can have clear water without the algae. Why did you move here and when? For as long as I can remember, there has always been algae or weeds on Clearlake.

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