Posted by: Vicki Burns | August 3, 2010

Blue-green Algae Takes Over Victoria Beach on Lake Winnipeg

The large blue-green algae blooms that were seen in satellite photos of Lake Winnipeg last week landed on the shores at Victoria Beach this past weekend, marring a summer long weekend for the many cottagers there. Check out this CTV video of the algae at Balsam Harbour a few miles south of Victoria Beach.

However its more threatening than just preventing swimming. These algae blooms are going to continue to grow until we decrease the excess phosphorus and nitrogen that is getting into the lake. 

image of dried blue-green algae washed up on the beach

Dried up blue-green algae on the beach

 One of the frustrating things about this problem is that some of us know how to decrease the excess nutrients but the majority of people are still unaware that they can play a role in solving this problem. We do need a major public education program across the country to help everyone to understand that there are many simple things we can each do to help fix this problem.

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Responses

  1. Vicki, Good to talk today. Another thing about the Algae problem is that Cimate change and an increase in precipitation at all times of the year are further drianing off nutrients from the land. Though some experts say that this action mostly happens in the spring time. Mike Stainton of DF&O, also a Grindstoner, holds that this cannot be changed.He has all the stats on rainfall comparisons if you ever need it. However the farmers habits can. I am told that the Govts. are very leary of criticising farmers and offering $s wont help much either ! The farmers are just interested in more acreage for more moneyand dont want to restore their wetlands either .

    • Actually I’ve heard that a number of farmers and landowners took advantage of the offer the RM of Dufferin made to compensate them for leaving wetlands intact. So my impression is that at least some farmers are quite willing to treat wetlands differently if they receive some economic advantage for doing so. Check out the http://wp.me/pTbnG-3c blog post I wrote about the RM of Dufferin’s unique program.


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