Algae less of a problem thanks to more river water in Moses Lake

Columbia Basin Herald

Blue-green algae and a toxin associated with it has been much less of a problem this year in Moses Lake, in large part thanks to higher flows of Columbia River water through the lake.

“There have been lower levels of toxin,” said Stephanie Shopbell, an environmental health manager with Grant County Health District. “Algae blooms have not been as widespread.”

The toxin microcystin can be dangerous to animals and fish, and is created when cyanobacteria die. Large green algae blooms have been common on parts of Moses Lake in the last few years, prompting the health district to post warning signs telling people not to have contact with the lake water.

Both Shopbell and Harold Crose, a resource conservationist with Grant County Conservation District, attributed the better conditions in Moses Lake to more Columbia River water flowing into and through the lake.

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