The green clumpy algae are a filamentous green algae called Sprirogyra – named for its very obvious spiral shaped chloroplasts (the organs that contain the oxygen producing chlorophyll).
The algae that has been reported is likely due to the low flow of water.
There are many different types of algaes based on different conditions in our lake. Summer kills due to low oxygen can also occur in lakes in late summer, in stagnant eutrophic (nutrient enriched) lakes that get warm (warm water holds less oxygen) where there are large algal blooms that crash and oxygen is consumed from the decomposing algae. This would be very unlikely in Chestermere, given the lake has a pretty rapid turnover of water and is well mixed from the wind. WID also reports higher than usual oxygen levels for this time of year.
These algae are relatively benign – and will probably persist for a few weeks while conditions are right for them; then they will decline and something else will grow in their place.
In general, phosphate levels have been increasing in Chestermere over the past decade or so, and it is very likely we will see annual algal blooms of this sort, and often different species of algae are involved depending on the conditions at the time.
Last Updated: June 17, 2020