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 and 2021 in collaboration with five selected lake associations. Following the completion of the pilot project, the Algae Monitoring Program was opened to a limited number of additional lake associations in 2022. The objectives of the program are to:
- Expand phytoplankton monitoring to interested lake associations across Muskoka as an addition to their existing water quality efforts;
- Collaborate with select lake associations on additional algal sampling to address specific issues of prevalence and/or causation of algal nuisance blooms;
- Develop information materials and presentations on algae for delivery to lake associations and others;
- Communicate these efforts to other lake associations across Muskoka; and
- Evaluate the program in 2026 and decide whether to continue beyond that date.
Participating Lake Associations
- Brandy Lake Association | Brandy Lake
- Kawagama Lake Cottagers’ Association | Kawagama Lake
- Leonard Lake Stakeholders Association | Leonard Lake
- Mary Lake Association | Mary Lake
- Muskoka Lakes Association | Clark Falls (Lake Rosseau near Windermere)
- Peninsula Lake Association | Peninsula Lake
- Ril Lake Association | Ril Lake
- Six Mile Lake Cottagers’ Association | Six Mile Lake
- Three Mile Lake Association | Three Mile Lake