Report Algae Scum When You See It

by Gayle Garman

Toxic Algae Blooms Seen At Green Lake

Shoreline algae scums have been occurring intermittently at Green Lake over the last few weeks. Samples collected on Jan. 2, Jan. 12, and Feb. 6 were sent to the King County DNR. Only some types of algae can produce toxins, but they don’t always. KC DNR forwarded potentially toxic samples to a lab to measure concentrations. Result: The Jan. 2 sample had 64 mcg/liter of a liver toxin, microcystin. Samples collected on Jan. 12 and Feb. 6 had less than 6 mcg/liter, the state guideline for microcystin in recreational waters. The Feb 6 sample also was tested for the neurotoxin, anatoxin a, but the result was non-detect (less than the guideline).

What should/can we do about this?

Report the algae scum to Friends of Green Lake (206-525-1974). If you can, get a photo and identify the specific location. FOGL will collect a sample and take it to DNR for ID and testing. Or you can contact Sally Abella of King County DNR at 206-296-8382. And my personal recommendation is if you see a green film on the water, keep the kids and dogs away from it. Don’t let your child or your dog have contact with the scum, nearby water or shoreline.

Photos by Richard Fleming