LHF updates on Lake Hopatcong Algae Blooms & What to Expect

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LHF | By Holly Odgers: Blue-green algae on Lake Hopatcong has the potential to be harmful to pets and humans, caution should be taken.

With the recent reports of algal blooms from Nolan’s Point to the Wildwood Shores area to Cow Tongue Point, we would like to share the reports that have come in, as well as some links to information about blue-green algae that explain what it is, what causes it, the dangers, and what you can do. 

As of the writing of this post, reports have been issued for the following areas:

Effected Areas InByram Bay

The Sussex County Health Dept. has been notified that Byram Bay Beach and Sand Harbor Beach should be closed and the following advisory posted at public access points: Danger / High Risk – No Contact and Ingestion (Humans and Animals. A confirmed Harmful Algal Bloom is present with levels quantified at or above the NJ Health Advisory Guidance. Do not drink or have contact with the water including, but not limited to, swimming, wading, and watersports. Fish caught in this waterbody should not be eaten. Pets and livestock should not contact or drink the water.

Why are we getting these algal blooms?

According to Princeton Hydro, the long-time environmental consulting firm for Lake Hopatcong, the dominant algal group in the samples recently collected were blue‐green algae (also known as  cyanobacteria), with the dominant genus being Anabaena, which is well known to bloom over the summer months, prefer higher phosphorus concentrations, and has the potential to generate cyanotoxins.  The current weather pattern this week of short bursts of intense rains/storm events, followed  by warm conditions in the 70’s to low 80’s is perfect for the development of such blooms.  Thus, a number of lakes in northern NJ and northeastern PA have been reporting such near‐shore blue-green algal blooms this week.

How long will the advisories be in place?

According to the Lake Hopatcong Commission website, bathing beaches will remain closed until the bloom subsides and two subsequent sample results are below action levels.

Pebble Beach, Espanong Road, and Nolan’s Point

No health advisory at this time.

Blue-Green Algae/Cyanobacteria resources

Information about Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) from NJDEP – CLICK HERE

Information about Blue-Green Algae in Waterways from Rutgers Cooperative Extension – CLICK HERE

What do I do if I see an algal bloom?

If you see an algal bloom, you should report it to NJDEP HERE


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