There were two reported site visits in the past six days (11/29 – 12/05), with samples collected at both visits. Algal bloom conditions were observed by the samplers during both sampling visits.
NOAA satellite imagery for Lake Okeechobee on 12/05 shows approximately 30% coverage of low to moderate bloom potential, with the strongest signal in the west-southwest region of the lake. Imagery does not indicate any bloom activity in the estuaries, although portions of the estuaries were partially obscured by cloud cover. South Florida Water Management District staff performed routine sampling trips on the lake on 12/04 (northern half of Lake Okeechobee) and 12/05 (southern half of Lake Okeechobee). South Florida Water Management District samplers noted an olive-brown discoloration to the water in the southern portion of the lake, however no samples were collected for algal bloom identification or toxin analysis, as the samplers did not recognize the conditions as being related to an algal bloom. DEP staff will revisit the area of most intense satellite bloom signal in the southern portion of the lake next week and collect samples for algal identification and toxin analysis.
DEP staff performed sampling at the center of Lake Hunter and the center of Scott Lake on 12/02. Both algal bloom samples were dominated by Microcystis species. Trace levels of microcystins (1.26 parts per billion) were detected in the Lake Hunter sample and 2.59 parts per billion of total microcystins were detected in the Scott Lake sample.
This is a high-level summary of the sampling events for the reported week. For all field visit and analytical result details, please refer the complete algal bloom map with data table by clicking the “Field and Lab Details” Quick Link from the Algal Bloom Dashboard. Different types of blue-green algal bloom species can look different and have different impacts. However, regardless of species, many types of blue-green algae can produce toxins that can make you or your pets sick if swallowed or possibly cause skin and/or eye irritation due to contact. We advise to stay out of water where algae is visibly present as specks, mats or water is discolored pea-green, blue-green or brownish-red. Additionally, pets or livestock should not come into contact with the algal bloom-impacted water, or the algal bloom material or fish on the shoreline.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.