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  • Terry Gronwall

Sunday August 6th, 2023 Honeoye Lake Water Quality

Surface Water Temperature: ~77.0 F

Water Clarity: ~6.6 Feet

Lake Level: ~803.2 Feet above sea level

Lake level relative to long term average lake level: -0.3 Feet

Observations: Sunday (8/6/23), Over the last week the water clarity decreased by ~1.3 feet to ~6.6 feet and the surface water temperature decreased by ~0.4 F to ~77.0 F. Lake level has dropped ~6 inches over the last week due to the Town of Richmond’s emergency project to remove shale from the outlet creek. We received a report of an isolated near shore blue-green algae bloom with surface scum along the Northeast shore yesterday and found serval more isolated near shore blue-green algae blooms today. Blooms could be occurring at other isolated near shore locations around the lake. DEC advice is “HABs: Know it, Avoid it, Report it”

We did not find any Gloeotrichia again today. It is probably done blooming for this summer. This was expected as Gloeotrichia usually disappears in late July. We also found increasing amounts of Anabaena (Dolchospermum) (Looks like a spring). Anabaena usually shows up in mid-July. So, it is right on time. We also found Aphanizomenom (Looks like a leaf) and Planktothrix (looks like a small rod). These are all blue-green algae species. You should be watchful for blue-green algae blooms lake wide. Expect to continue to see blue-green blooms over the next few weeks. See pictures below: More information on Gloeotrichia and Anabaena can be found at:

Several research studies have found that most of the phosphorus that fuels Honeoye Lake’s blue-green algae blooms is released from the lake bottom sediments when the lake’s dissolved oxygen level goes below 0.50 mg/L in the deeper parts of the lake. The dissolved oxygen (DO) level near the lake bottom between 7.5-9 m (~25-30 feet) was only 0.54-0.36 mg/L today. The DEC’s Alum Treatment last November should prevent most of the phosphorus from being released from the bottom sediments when the DO is less than 0.50 mg/L. Lake was stratified at ~7.5 m (~25feet) deep today. Today’s temperature and dissolved oxygen graphs our posted to the left. You can see the second partial lake mixing event late last week on the above temperature and dissolved oxygen chart above with the 7-7.5 m blue lines converging with the shallower depths. This would have mixed whatever amount of phosphorus was released from the bottom sediments from 6-7.5 m with the whole vertical water column. We are not sure yet if this is the source of phosphorus fueling are current isolated blue-green algae blooms or not. Other sources of phosphorus are rainstorm run-off, Zebra mussel waste products, Etc. Also, HABs grow and reproduce rapidly in the hot weather like we had in July.

Please report any Honeoye Lake HABs you observe to us and DEC by submitting a HABs report at:

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:


Town of Richmond has received an Emergency Permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

This permit will allow the Town of Richmond to remove 2 Gravel bars in Honeoye Creek.

The Town of Richmond recently removed two shale bars from the Outlet Creek. Over the last week the lake level dropped over 6 inches (~0.9 inches per day)! The lake is now at its normal level.

We thank the DEC for issuing an emergency permit to allow this work to occur and the Town of Richmond for taking action to restore the water flow in the outlet creek.


Ontario County Soil & Water Conservation District featured two Honeoye Lake watershed erosion control projects in their Summer 2023 Newsletter:


July FLCC Muller Field Station Events

Click on the link below to see the July Muller Field Station Newsletter:


New York Safe Boating Class Certificate will be required of all boaters on this schedule:

If born on or after: You will need boating safety certificate to operate motorized vessel in:

January 1, 1988 2022

January 1, 1983 2023

January 1, 1978 2024

All operators of motorized vessels, regardless of age, will need a boating safety certificate by January 1, 2025.

Click on the link below for more information and the schedule of local NYS Safe Boating classes:


Honeoye lake is included in the DEC's Big Panfish Study. Please click on the link below to read their Interim report:


Please visit the Honeoye DEC Project website for more information on the Honeoye Lake Nutrient Inactivation (Alum Treatment) Project: Honeoye Lake Nutrient Inactivant Pilot Study (


Glacial History of Honeoye Lake

Please check out the new “Glacial History of Honeoye Lake” sign at Sandy Bottom Park.

Thank you to Dr. Bruce Gilman for the content, the Ontario County Water Resources Council for the funding, and the Finger Lakes Land Trust for the imagery.

More information on Honeoye Lake’s Geology History can be found on HLWTF web site:


Please click on this link for the Winter 2023 HLWTF Newsletter:


- 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 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.


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