Great Lakes water temperatures have been much higher than average this year, and inland waterways have been extraordinarily hot as well.
With the increased water temperature, EGLE staffers are seeing more reports of algal blooms as well.
"So far this year, we have seen more blooms than this time last year, most of which have not been harmful," says Aaron Parker, EGLE senior aquatic biologist. He cites hot temperatures as the likely reason.
While most blooms have not been harmful, some, caused by cyanobacteria, are known as Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs). These blooms can negatively affect the health of people and animals.
Not sure if an algae bloom is harmful? Check the Harmful Algal Bloom Picture Guide for examples of HABs and compare to other algae and plants found in lakes. If you suspect the bloom is harmful, do not let people, livestock or pets in the water or near the shore where you see the potential HAB. Unless the bloom covers a large part of the lake, you can limit your risk by using a part of the lake with no visible accumulation of algae. Always rinse off people and pets after contact with any lake water.
Suspected HABs should be reported EGLE by calling 800-662-9278 or e-mailing AlgaeBloom@Michigan.gov. If possible, include pictures of suspected blooms.