CANAL POINT, Fla. — These days it's not hard to spot green algae on Lake Okeechobee.
"It looks like it's coming out everywhere," Alissa Hernandez, who stopped to view the water in Canal Point, said Wednesday. "I never noticed this when I was a kid."
That area, along with others, has been flagged in recent water tests for microcystin. Algae is also seen in many other places, including Port Mayaca and Pahokee.
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Lake Okeechobee almost completely covered in algae
So far there have been no significant releases of water from the lake to the Treasure Coast, even as the lake level rises entering storm season.
"I would say water releases at this time would definitely be problematic," Professor Malcolm McFarland of FAU Harbor Branch said. "From the satellite imagery I have seen, a large substantial portion of the lake is covered with this algae."
Recent data from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection indicates up to 85% of the lake has the potential for a moderate algae bloom.
This week, the state's blue-green algae task force considered the nutrients running off into the lake, which can feed the algae growth.
"If we can reduce the nutrient loads in the lake, then we can reduce the capacity of the algae to grow into these really high concentrations," McFarland said.