Watch out for harmful algal blooms

To the editor:

Residents and visitors beware! On Monday, Oct. 31 a harmful algal bloom (HAB) of cyanobacteria, inaccurately referred to as blue-green algae (it is bacteria, not algae), was identified in Mirror Lake. It was widespread and still visible as of Nov. 2. The bloom appears to have dissipated, and the recent drop in temperature may mean we no longer have to be concerned about it this year, but for future reference, toxins can remain in the water for several days after the occurrence of a HAB, and exposure to the water by humans or pets could still cause serious, allergic reactions.

The HAB first identified Oct. 31 may have caused problems for a person and her dog as recently as Wednesday, Nov. 9. Lake water with cyanobacteria present can be toxic and even fatal to dogs who drink or swim in it, even after the bloom is no longer visible. Whenever you or your dogs come in contact with water that has experienced a recent HAB, be on the lookout for warning signs, and rinse yourself and your pet thoroughly as soon as possible after exposure.

For a thorough explanation of HABs, go to adkwatershed.org and read Brendan Wiltse’s “HAB FAQ.”

Sandy E. Bissell

Lake Placid

Starting at $1.44/week.

Subscribe Today