Lake Erie algae is worst ever
Toxic algae blooms have never been worse in Lake Erie, and the situation is threatening fish and tourism, Ohio officials said.
Analyses show numbers of walleye and yellow perch — the lake’s most-lucrative sport-fish species — drop significantly as the level of algae rises, and that affects the lake’s $10 billion annual tourism industry, The Columbus Dispatch reported .
Algae blooms are fed by phosphorous, which has been above safe levels, Roger Knight, program administrator for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, said in a report presented Wednesday to the Lake Erie Commission in Columbus.
Increased farm fertilizer runoff because of record rainfall is one reason for the higher phosphorous levels. Knight said.
Blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, are common in most Ohio lakes and grow thick in water polluted with phosphorus from fertilizer, manure and sewage washed into streams by rain.