Muskoka Watershed Council developed the Algae Monitoring Program to collect information on the distribution, abundance and seasonal cycles of a) all phytoplankton combined, and b) blue-green algae in particular, across Muskoka area lakes so that, over time, it may be possible to identify conditions favoring algae, detect trends in phytoplankton abundance, and provide management advice.
Modelled from a Cyanobacteria Monitoring Collaborative program carried out in New England, MWC’s Algae Monitoring Program harnesses the efforts of dedicated citizen scientists who currently monitor water quality across Muskoka in order to build a richer database of information on local algal populations.
A pilot project was undertaken in 2019 in collaboration with four selected lake associations to:
- Plan and pilot methods for fluorometric analysis of phytoplankton for future use by lake associations interested in adding this to current water quality monitoring;
- Undertake explicit evaluations to ground-truth methods used;
- Develop information materials and a presentation on algae for delivery to lake associations and others; and
- Communicate these efforts to other lake associations across Muskoka during the year.
Participating Lake Associations
- Leonard Lake Stakeholders Association | Leonard Lake
- Muskoka Lakes Association | Clark Falls (Lake Rosseau near Windermere)
- Peninsula Lake Association | Peninsula Lake
- Three Mile Lake Association | Three Mile Lake