OCWC members are putting on their investigating shoes after a couple of sightings of some pink blooms in the Creek in Scottsville and Garbutt. And we are not talking about pretty flowers!
On August 5th, In Oatka Creek Park, Pete was accompanying U.S. Fish & Wildlife personnel & Seth Green Trout Unlimited Members on a preliminary walk through for habitat evaluation (as part of the “Oatka Creek Fish Habitat Assessment and Monitoring Project” – see this post). As he stopped to empty his boots (!) he noticed some bright pink/purple substance on a rock in the water.
Shortly thereafter, he received an email with pictures of a similar sighting in Garbutt from a vigilant and concerned Rochester resident describing what she thought might be a sulfur bacteria bloom. It is a possibility, as flow is low, and temperatures high, and Pete had noticed conditions of a low oxygen environment.
After discussion at last Monday’s meeting about the nature of the substance, Vice-Chair (and Biologist) Maureen has a suspicion that it is most likely a blue-green Microcystis bloom and will be looking into it!
In the mean time, our Wheatland correspondent did what everyone should do if you see suspicious blooms on local water ways; contact NYS DEC. Find out what to do here!
DEC told her they also suspect the blue-green algae. The creek has risen due to the recent rain, and getting a sample might not be possible. But we’ll let you know what we find out!
Update: Unfortunately, because of the recent rain, nobody was able to get a sample of the growth (or fortunately, as that rain was sorely needed). We will assume that both Maureen & DEC were correct with it being blue-green algae!