Meet Your New Neighbors

(Greek dinos "whirling" and Latin flagellum "whip, scourge")
While out selling derby tickets, Lonnie Goulet paid a visit to the Montry home where Ed had shared a printout he’d rec’d from Sally Abella of King County.  Sally is Ed’s contact relative to his volunteer duties for water quality control testing that he and Jeanie perform throughout the year.   In response to Ed’s inquiry about the current algae bloom we are currently experiencing (the lime green slime that is about 10’ - 15’ off shore and in a depth of water about 6’ 10’ in depth) she wrote him with the following explanation: 

Hi Ed and Jeannie,
Chris (King County Water and Land Resources Division Field Engineer) did come take a quick look yesterday and took a phytoplankton sample off your dock.  The lake water was clear, but he did see a fair amount of filamentous green algae growing on the lake bottom.  Was that what you were reporting? 

While not dangerous, it can be a nuisance. If it gets thick enough, you might be able to rake it out and use it as fertilizer on your garden.    Luxuriant filamentous algae growth may be a signal that nutrients are seeping into the lake along your shoreline.  They can come from recently applied lawn or garden fertilizers (especially if followed by a good rain storm), septic systems needing maintenance, etc.  Keep an eye on it and let me know how it’s doing! Do you think it is growing all around the edges of the lake?  Is so, it may just be climate-related rather than an unusual source of nutrients.

The Phyto plankton was sparse, but was dominated by dinoflagellates and small green algae colonies with just a few diatoms.   The spring diatom bloom should be on its way soon.

Sally Barley Abella
Science and Technical Support Section
King County Water and Land Resources Division
201 S. Jackson St, Suite 600
Seattle, WA  98104-3855
Phone:  (206) 296-8382
E-Mail Address:

It seems from the letter above that the appearance of Dinoflagelate algae maybe climate related and will soon  be replaced by the usual Diatom Spring Bloom.  Please contact the Montry's with any questions you may have regarding water quality concerns.  If they don't have the answers, they certainly know where they can go to get them.

1 comment:

Fuzz Hill said...

While I've only lived on the lake for 5 years now - it seems that we have a varying degree of algae bloom each spring... leading me to believe this is all simply related to climate conditions...

But the one condition that Sally offers regarding an abundance of nutrients from failed septic systems led me to recalling that the sewer line encircles the lake - could there be any potential that this system may be leaking? How would we know? From water sample testing?