Algae are simple, typically small aquatic organisms and range in structure from unicellular (a microscopic single cell) to multicellular and as they produce and grow, form colonies that appear on the surface or attached to various substrates. Algae are always present in lakes and rivers, and are at the base (primary) of most lake food webs, and as such, are critical components of a healthy aquatic environment. Without algae, zooplankton (small animals that feed on algae) would not survive, and this would impact the survival of fish and other animals further up the food chain.
When conditions are favourable, certain populations of algae can increase to levels that result in poor water quality and an algal bloom or scum may form. Bloom-forming conditions include:
As there is an abundance of relevant literature covering the identification, reporting and relevant health implications, this introductory material has been limited to the above general information on algal growth and a list of key findings that would be relevant to Kahshe and Bass Lake. A more detailed report on the Current Status of Algal Blooms in Kahshe and Bass Lakes, including factors that play a role in algal bloom development and on the health symptoms and use restrictions has been developed and is posted under this tab. Also posted in this section are several excellent references to help readers better understand the health and aesthetic implications of a harmful algal bloom and how the presence of a bloom can be reported.
The key findings relevant to Kahshe and Bass Lake property owners/guests/users include:
Ron Pearson, M.Sc.
Kahshe and Bass Lake Steward - February 2022