Posted by: Vicki Burns | July 29, 2010

Toxic Algae Warnings – Not Just Lake Winnipeg – All Over North America

I had the opportunity to take a trip on the Namao, the research ship of the Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium, earlier this week. It was very interesting to see some of the water sampling being conducted at several stations around the lake. 

image of the Namao tied up in the Gimli Harbour

Namao at dock in Gimli


The satellite images on the LWRC’s website have drawn attention to the large blue-green algae bloom that is appearing in the north basin of Lake Winnipeg and pointed out as well, the bloom that was starting to develop around Grand Beach. That bloom became all too obvious to people visiting the beach last weekend. 

I was curious to learn how common these blue-green algae blooms are becoming and was not too surprised to see warnings about them in several American states, Oregon, Ohio and Iowa, most recently. Some of the  blue-green algae contain Microcystin – LR which contains toxins affecting the liver and other organs. So it is potentially a serious health threat to both humans and animals, with several documented cases of dogs dying after going into water with blue-green algae present. 

image of blue-green algae washing up on beach

Blue-green algae on beach at Lake Winnipeg


I’m interested in learning about where else in Canada there are blue green algae problems so let me know if there algae problems near you. This is a significant problem that we can all be part of fixing!



  1. […] (2008). Canada’s Toxic Tar Sands. iv H20: Ideas and Action for Canada’s Water (2010). Toxic Algae Warnings All Over North America. v Environmental Defence (2010). Down the Drain: Water Conservation in the Great Lakes Basin. vi […]

  2. China has many shallow lakes so there are many toxic algae spread and cause many water and environment problem. If you need more materia,cantact me please.

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