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Toxic blue-green algae reported along Lake Okeechobee

Sample taken April 6 shows toxicity
Posted at 6:27 PM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 18:32:48-04

PORT MAYACA, Fla. — Toxic blue-green algae has been reported at Port Mayaca in western Martin County along Lake Okeechboee.

WPTV spotted the algae Thursday near the C-44 canal in Martin County.

Mike Conner the Indian River Keeper first reported the algae.

"I saw the photos that were taken, aerial photos by a resident in Martin County who does flyovers, and I wanted to see for myself. So, I went out to the Mayaca Recreation Area," said Conner.

WEB EXTRA: Indian River Keeper reports algae along Lake Okeechobee

When Conner arrived, he quickly saw the algae along the shore.

"Sure enough, it was pretty choked in there pretty good with the cyanobacteria bloom. The lake shore had a little bit too, but the holding area there had a pretty dense bloom, so I made a report to DEP algae dashboard. They went out about four days later and found it was toxic," said Conner.

The toxicity level was 36 parts per billion of microcystins in the sample taken from Lake Okeechobee at Port Mayaca on April 6. Anything more than 8 parts per billion is considered too toxic to touch.

According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection algae bloom dashboardweekly update, "The South Florida Water Management District performed its monthly Lake Okeechobee monitoring. The district collected one bloom sample on 4/6 at Lake Okeechobee-S308C, which was dominated by Microcystis aeruginosa and 36 parts per billion total microcystins, and one sample of each on 4/8 from Lake OkeechobeeLZ25A and Lake Okeechobee-CLV10A."