Cyanobacteria (Blue-Green Algae) 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

For information on other monitoring locations and reports from earlier this season, check the Cyanobacteria Tracker Map

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 Cyanobacteria Conditions

Below you can find information on where monitors and the public have reported seeing cyanobacteria this week. Everyone, especially people in these areas, should watch for and avoid cyanobacteria.

“Low Alert” means that small amounts of cyanobacteria were observed. “High Alert” means that large amounts of cyanobacteria were observed with dense scums or highly colored water.

Be aware of changing conditions and keep out of the water if you think cyanobacteria might be present.

Cyanobacteria Reports Received This Week - Updated June 14, 2018

Location
of report
Waterbody town alert
level
date additional
details
Highgate Springs - Open water
Lake Champlain - Missisquoi Bay Highgate Springs Low Alert 6/17/2019  
Mouth of the Pike River Lake Champlain - Missisquoi Bay Philipsburg Low Alert 6/18/2019  

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 photos of what cyanobacteria look like and what are not cyanobacteria.

Watch a video to help you identify 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.

See the drinking water test results

Partners in Monitoring Vermont’s Waters

  • Lake Champlain Basin Program – funds cyanobacteria monitoring in the Lake Champlain Basin.
  • Lake Champlain Committee (LCC) – since 2003, coordinates and trains 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.
  • Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation – monitors long-term water quality at dozens of off-shore stations on Lake Champlain and recruits and trains volunteers on many other Vermont lakes.
  • Vermont State Parks – monitors conditions at park swim areas.

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.