CyanoAlert

6 January 2011

Some algal bloom conditions persist quite far into the northern winter: the alert for Lost Creek Lake in Oregon has only now been lifted!  In Australia, the Canning River is again off-colour with a bloom of the relatively-rare Karlodinium micrum.  Karlodinium is not a cyanobacterium, rather a toxin-producing dinoflagellate – commonly associated with fish kills.

In the US, Wisconsin authorities continue to strengthen their fight against phosphorus, with restrictions for Lake St Croix being published.  In the US use is made of TMDLs (Total Maximum Daily Loads) – a means of determining the acceptable phosphorus loading and then apportioning this amongst the polluters.  In South Africa we have yet to apply Total Maximum Annual Phosphorus Loads (TMAPLs) – even though most of our key dams exceed the problem limits by up to 95%!

On the warm side of the USA (California), a TMDL has been set for the Klamath River, long plagued by cyanobacterial blooms.  The TMDL requires that phosphorus be reduced by 57 percent, nitrogen by 32 percent, and carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand by 16 percent.   South Africa requires a new advisory mindset if we are to get even close to implementing this aggressive type of management.  Thusfar we seem to have the same people who advised us into the mess we are in still at the helm!

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