Blue-Green Algae on Fountain Lake

The Shell Rock River Watershed District (SRRWD) confirms that blue-green algae is present near Katherine Island on Fountain Lake.  Blue-green algae is often referred to as algae but is actually a type of bacteria called cyanobacteria.  According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, blue-green algae is normally present in Minnesota lakes during the summer because the bacteria thrives in warm, shallow, nutrient rich waters.  Certain varieties of blue-green algae can produce toxins that are linked to illness in humans and animals.  Avoid recreating in waters that appear to have a blue-green algae bloom! When in doubt, stay out!  The SRRWD can’t control the rainfall, heat, water temperature, or eliminate blue-green algae.  The best thing we can do is reduce the amount of nutrients getting into the lake.  Please help by not mowing grass clippings into the street or gutter.   Grass clippings contains phosphorus, the nutrient that turns the lakes green with algae.  Please consider sweeping leaves, trash, and other debris off the storm drains. Nearly all storm drain in Albert Lea flow directly to our lakes.    Also, please pick up and properly dispose of pet waste.  Waste carries harmful bacteria.  While these practices will not reduce the algal bloom immediately, they are the best long-term solutions to minimizing the frequency and intensity of the algal blooms. 

© 2015 Shell Rock River Watershed District, 305 S 1st Avenue, Albert Lea, MN 56007