Researchers predict harmful algal bloom for western Lake Erie

Carl Bachtel discusses the Lake Erie algal bloom forecast after researchers have warned of one in western Lake Erie.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its research partners say they predict a harmful algal bloom for the western portion of Lake Erie this summer.

The report issued by the NOAA claims the bloom could reach levels matching those seen in 2013 and 2014. 

Researchers predict this year's bloom will measure 7.5 on the severity index. That means the bloom's amount of harmful algae, also called its biomass, registers above the index norm for a potentially harmful bloom. 

The largest bloom occurred in 2015 with a measure of 10.5.

Though the predicted bloom is predicted to be more widespread than normal, the Ohio Sea Grant notes that the size of the bloom does not indicate its toxicity. That means the toxins in a large bloom may not be as concentrated.

In recent years, blooms have appeared in Lake Erie's western basin. Those increase in August, but heavy rains may push the bloom further into the basin. Most of the lake is not expected to be affected, according to Ohio Sea Grant.

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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