Cyanobacteria (Blue-Green Algae) Lake Conditions

cyanobacteria bloom

Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, are naturally found in fresh water in the U.S. and in Lake Champlain and other Vermont waters. Some types of cyanobacteria can release natural toxins or poisons (called cyanotoxins) into the water, especially when they die and break down. People and pets should stay away from cyanobacteria blooms. Learn more about cyanobacteria.

Information on lake conditions is provided by a network of volunteers trained and coordinated by the Lake Champlain Committee and by scientists from the Vermont departments of Health and Environmental Conservation. Monitors submit weekly visual observations of water conditions from sites around Lake Champlain.

Weekly Summary of Lake Conditions

Cyanobacteria Conditions Observed This Week - Updated July 21, 2017

  • Lake Champlain
    • Inland Sea - There have been no reports of blooms.
    • Main Lake Central - There have been no reports of blooms.
    • Main Lake North - There have been no reports of blooms.
    • Main Lake South - There have been no reports of blooms.
    • Malletts Bay - There have been no reports of blooms.
    • Missisquoi Bay - Blooms have been reported on the VT and Quebec sides of the border.
    • St. Albans Bay - A bloom has been reported from the inner bay.
    • South Lake - There have been no reports of blooms.
    • New York Locations - The bloom at Pt. Au Roche State Park has cleared. Check with beach authorities for current conditions.
  • Vermont Inland Lakes
    • Lake Amherst  - The bloom reported earlier in the week has cleared.
    • Lake Carmi - Blooms reported earlier this week have cleared.
    • Lake Iroquois - There have been no reports of blooms.
    • Lake Memphremagog - There have been no reports of blooms.
    • Lake Morey - There have been no reports of blooms.
    • North Hartland Lake - There have been no reports of blooms.
    • Shelburne Pond - There have been no reports of blooms.
    • Stoughton Pond - There have been no reports of blooms.
    • Townshend Lake - There have been no reports of blooms.
    • Ticklenaked Pond - Cyanobacteria reported on July 21.

Not all Vermont bays, lakes, and ponds are monitored. Be aware of changing conditions, and keep out of the water if you think cyanobacteria may be present.

To find out if a beach or swim area is open, call the beach manager. This may be the town, a private association or Vermont State Park.

Partners in Monitoring Vermont’s Waters

Since 2003, the Lake Champlain Committee (LCC) has coordinated and trained a group of citizen volunteers to monitor shoreline sites on Lake Champlain in Vermont, New York, and Quebec. You can reach out to LCC if you are interested in becoming a volunteer monitor.

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) monitors long-term water quality at dozens of off-shore stations on Lake Champlain.

VT Tracking logo
Check the Cyanobacteria Tracker Map
 

identifying cyanobacteria

It's important to know what cyanobacteria look like and to use your best judgment when thinking about swimming or doing other activities in the water. See more photos of what cyanobacteria look like and what are not cyanobacteria.

Weekly drinking water test results

All 22 public drinking water suppliers on Lake Champlain submit samples for cyanobacteria toxin analysis. Drinking water test results are updated weekly by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.

For more information or to report a bloom:

Email BloomAlert@vermont.gov with photos of the suspected bloom. If possible, include a detailed description of the bloom's location, or mark the bloom location using an image from an online mapping application such as Google, Bing or Yahoo Maps. Or you can call 800-439-8550 from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday (except state holidays).