Blue-Green Algae in Conesus Lake

Conesus Lake, N.Y. – On one of the hottest day’s this summer, public health officials were telling people to stay out of the water. Blue-green algae surfaced, Monday, in Conesus Lake. Blue-green algae is a bacteria that is found… naturally in the waterways, but is toxic when concentrated on the surface, looking like pea soup and in some areas blue paint.

Possible symptoms of exposure to blue-green algae are rashes and blisters, fever, headache, eye/nose/throat irritation, muscle pain and weakness, difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and dry cough. Pets can have similar systems, such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and loss of appetite.

Most of the blue-green algae are along the north end of the lake because that’s the direction the water flows. The Livingston County Department of Health said warm weather, wind and/or rain can cause the algae to surface and bloom, the algae will eventually dissipate on its own.  “As I got up in there I could see the stuff just flowing,” said Bob Horrocks as he recounted his morning kayak trip around the lake.

Horrocks said this isn’t the first year for the algae but it hasn’t always been a problem. “Only a few years ago [it started], maybe like 6-7 years ago.” Swimming is prohibited at Vitale and Long Point Parks on the lake until further notice because of the algae. Camp Stella Maris on Conesus Lake is keeping campers out of the water. The executive director told 13WHAM they are having water activities on land while they wait for the blue-green algae to clear up.

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