Cyanobacteria

Britta Greene

Every summer morning, Midge Eliassen has the same routine. She walks out her back door, down the steps, and onto her dock on Lake Sunapee.

There, she pulls out a plankton net and takes a sample from the water, shipping off the results to be analyzed in a lab at Dartmouth College.

She’s been doing this, rain or shine, for 12 years. “I get a chance to look at the world and see what the lake looks like each day, which I really love,” she said. 

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Annie Ropeik / NHPR

New Hampshire’s Department of Fish & Game is facing a potential lawsuit over water pollution from its largest fish hatchery.

The Conservation Law Foundation told the state Thursday it plans to file a Clean Water Act lawsuit this fall, unless the state begins working to fix the alleged problems within 60 days.

The Powder Mill hatchery in New Durham grows trout and salmon to stock state fishing areas, and it’s expanded in the past decade or so.

New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

A team of researchers is sampling lakes across the Northeast this week as part of efforts to better understand what’s causing cyanobacteria blooms.

The blooms have become common in other parts of the country, including the Midwest, and are starting to pop up locally in New Hampshire and surrounding states. Scientists are unsure what’s driving the change.

NHPR Staff

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services is warning those who visit a park in Hopkinton of a bloom of cyanobacteria that might produce health concerns.

The department released the advisory about a bloom at the Elm Brook Park Beach on Tuesday. It says people and pets should avoid contact with the water in places where the lake has surface scum or green streaks.

New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

It’s now common for the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services to issue advisories each summer, warning swimmers of bacterial blooms along Northeastern beaches.

Cyanobacteria, which is also known as blue-green algae, has become prevalent throughout the Northeast. Now researchers from Dartmouth, University of New Hampshire, and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies are collaborating with the Lake Sunapee Protective Association to find out why.

Wikimedia Commons

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services says it is seeing an increase of dangerous levels of cyanobacteria in some lakes and ponds.

The most recent advisories include French and Keyser ponds in Henniker, Sebbins Pond in Bedford and Lee's Pond in Moultonborough. Warnings have been posted at sites affected by the bacteria and also at public beaches with advisories for fecal contamination, such as Opechee Park Cove Beach in Laconia. Conditions include surface scums, or streaks, or blue-green flecks in the water.

Courtesy DES

To everything there is a season and this is the season when we go swimming and we spend a lot of time talking about Cyanobacteria. So what is it, exactly? we spoke with Sonya Carlson in 2016 when she was the head of the Beach Inspection Program with the state Department of Environmental Services and gave us a primer on the micro-organism.

USGS website

Cyanobacteria advisories are in place at Elm Brook Park beach in Hopkinton and Silver Lake State Park Beach in Hollis. 

State officials are urging visitors to stay out of the water if they observe blue-green scum or clumps suspended in the water column. Cyanobacteria can be toxic to both humans and dogs. 

Courtesy DES

To everything there is a season and this is the season when we go swimming and we spend a lot of time talking about Cyanobacteria. So what is it, exactly? Sonya Carlson is head of the Beach Inspection Program with the state Department of Environmental Services and gave us a primer on the micro-organism.