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  • Terry Gronwall

Monday October 4 2021 Honeoye Lake Water Quality

Surface Water Temperature: 67.5 F

Water Clarity: 5.0 Feet

Lake Level: 803.7 Feet above sea level

Lake Level Relative to Weir: +0.2 Feet

Observations: Monday (10/4/21), The water clarity has decreased ~0.25 foot to 5.0 feet and the surface water temperature has decreased ~0.3 F to 67.5 F over the last week. There was Anabaena, Microcystis, Aphanizomenon and Lyngbya visible in the water column and on the lake’s surface. The lake mixing event over Labor Day Weekend brought nutrients released from the bottom sediments to the surface which are still fueling a blue-green algae bloom. Today the Southern Lake Basin open water and near shore areas had visible blue-green algae surface scum. Early this afternoon the winds were calm which encourages the blue-green algae to rise to the surface of the water. See pictures below: Due to the on again off again rain we were not able to make our normal blue-green algae monitoring run around the whole lake today.

We took the images to the left and below of today’s Anabaena (looks like a coiled spring), Microcystis (looks like a blob of cells), Aphanizomenon (looks like a thin long leaf), and Lyngbya (looks like a long straight filament) algae samples using a high-powered microscope. You can Google Anabaena, Microcystis, Aphanizomenon, Lyngbya to learn more about them. For more information on Anabaena and Microcystis see the articles at HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS | Honeoye Lake (

The DEC recommends that you, your family, and pets avoid contact with water that contains blue-green algae bloom like Anabaena, Microcystis, and Aphanizomenon. Everyone should be very careful to watch for blue-green algae blooms for the next few weeks.

The lake today (10/4) has started to restratify. You can see that by noticing that the temperature and dissolved oxygen from the surface to the lake bottom is starting to diverge again. Given that it’s October with colder weather every week it’s unlikely that the lake will completely restratify. When the lake mixed (uniform temperature & dissolved oxygen) on 9/4-9/5 it mixed some bottom water with phosphorus and ammonia released from the bottom sediments into the whole water column. This has fueled the blue-green algae bloom that we have been having for the last four weeks. This blue-green algae bloom will likely continue until we get much colder fall weather. Surface water temperature 67.5 F. Bottom water temperature 64.9 F.

When a lake stratifies and forms a thermocline the decaying organic matter, dead algae and weed fragments, on the lake bottom consumes dissolved oxygen (DO) in the water below the thermocline. When the DO has been completely consumed the phosphorus iron bond in the bottom sediments becomes weak releasing legacy phosphorus into the water near the bottom sediments.

Always use your own visual assessment before making contact with the lake water at this time of year as the blue-green algae situation can change daily if not hourly. Please regularly check the DEC HABs alert map for more detailed updates on Honeoye Lake HABs alerts:

Click on the blue outlined box that says "Log in / Sign up" in the upper right hand corner of this page to sign-up to be notified when we update our weekly Honeoye Lake water quality blog.


Get Out There

By Linda Z Vanderbeck 2021

Four Recreation Areas in the Honeoye Valley

The autumnal equinox has passed, and fall has arrived in the Honeoye Valley! During most mornings, fog hangs over the lake and the air is chilly - you’ll need a jacket or sweater to go outside. Boats and hoists are coming out of the lake, summer visitors are going back to the city, and no one is swimming or tubing now. Admittedly, water recreation on Honeoye Lake has come to a close. But even though you aren’t playing on the lake, be sure you aren’t missing out on the fall season in our beautiful Honeoye Valley.

Four recreation areas located right here in the Honeoye Valley, offer a myriad of outdoor activities where you can admire the forests’ changing colors, observe wildlife, bird watch, go hiking or simply find tranquility in the natural world. Some locations offer organized activities and guided hikes. You can also subscribe to newsletters (see websites) and keep current with conservation news and local initiatives.

Following is a brief introduction to each recreation area along with a link to its website and trail map - get out there!

Harriet Hollister Spencer State Recreation Area is located in Canadice, NY with nearly 23 miles of multi-use trails for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and a snowmobile route. From the road leading into the park, you’ll see the breathtaking panoramic view of Honeoye Lake pictured here. The park is beautiful, dense woodland and boasts the highest spot in Ontario County.

Wesley Hill Nature Preserve can be accessed from either Gulick Road or Wesley Hill Road. Diverse stands of mature forest, a wide array of wildflowers, and sweeping views of the hills surrounding the south end of Honeoye Lake make this site truly special. The hiking trails are very well marked and while on them, you might hear Yellow-Throats, Bluebirds and Song Sparrows, and may even see a deer, fox, or woodchuck.

Cummings Nature Center is on Gulick Road between Honeoye and Naples. You can discover something new each time you visit the Cumming Nature Center from exploring their exhibits to embarking on a nature trail adventure. There is an interpretive center at the site entrance and historical artifacts at Pioneer Cabin and Sugar Shack along the purple trail, and at the Sawmill on the blue trail. A small entrance fee is required.

Sandy Bottom Park is located at the north end of Honeoye Lake off of County Road 36 just south of Route 20A. This park has hiking trails, a picnic pavilion, boardwalk, playgrounds and softball field. Located right here in Honeoye, Sandy Bottom Park is somewhere you can visit often for a brisk walk, quiet nature hike or family outing.


- Click on this link to see the new HLWTF Honeoye Lake Watershed Storm Water Took Kit if you are planning any storm water projects on your property:

- Click on this link for "2021 Honeoye Lake Aeration Engineering Planning Project"

- Click on this link for HLWTF Winter newsletter: e6fc30_ef8d01223f42408ba11b3a7a5f83bebe.pdf

- Click on this link for "2020 Water Quality: What, Why, What's Next"

- Click on this link to register for the HVA Spotted lantern Fly talk on Wednesday October 6th: <>

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