Center for Lakes & Streams Continues to Respond to Threats during Winter Months
The Center for Lakes & Streams continues to collect samples from local Kosciusko County streams through the winter months. The center was contacted recently with a concern that Center Lake was exhibiting a reddish tint. In response to these reports, the Center for Lakes & Streams collected samples from Center Lake for lab analysis at Grace College.
According to Dr. Nate Bosch, the director of the center, reddish coloration or presence of foam in local lakes are not new situations. "We confirmed algae as the cause of Hill and Diamond lakes appearing red in southern Kosciusko County back in 2011, and foam is a common occurrence in many of our lakes due to natural surfactants in lake water," Bosch explained.
Initial lab results from the Center for Lakes & Streams at Grace College supported the connection between the algae coloration and the dominant algae type in Center Lake as Planktothrix, which can have a reddish coloration. This algae is common in many lakes of our region, causes a red or purple tint, and can form algae blooms during late winter immediately after the disappearance of ice. Planktothrix is a type of blue-green algae which can be harmful to the health of people and pets. While the algae is capable of producing toxins, no toxins have yet been detected in Center Lake as a result of the algae bloom. Furthermore, due to cooler temperatures at this time of year, there is little concern for any human or pet exposure of toxins. No environmental impacts have yet been reported as a result of the algae either.
The center will continue to actively monitor Center Lake over the coming weeks. The center has been collaborating with the K21 Health Foundation on local blue-green algae research as well as with the City of Warsaw and the Kosciusko County Health Department on recent research related to Center Lake. Collecting samples, even when local lakes and streams are not being utilized for recreational purposes, is crucial to understanding seasonal changes the lakes undergo as well as the impacts of human activity during the summer months.
The annual Northern Indiana Lakes Festival is scheduled for this May 26-28 at Center Lake in Warsaw! Entertainment at the festival will include live shows, vendors, workshops, a concert, fireworks show, and more. Interested in being a vendor at this year's festival? Check out the food and commercial vendor applications on our website here!