A Mountain Problem Too

In western North Carolina near the Tennessee border, Fontana Lake is an area not typically associated with algal blooms.  Unfortunately, the Lake is experiencing just that.

The blooms there were first reported in 2012 in the Tuckaseegee arm feeding the lake and began returning annually 2015. The blooms started out as bright green discolored water.  Later, the algal die off turned portions of the lake into a stinky mess of decaying organic matter.

Worse, according to the State’s NC Division of Water Resources, tests have shown the algae to have toxic Microcystis levels that pose a “moderate” health risk, curbing usage of the lake and threatening wildlife.

Historically, nutrient related water quality problems like this have been located in eastern North Carolina.  As the images below show, however, these problems have expanded across the State and demonstrate the need for a statewide solutions to this serious problem

Fontana Lake Algae. Source: NC DWR

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