Second sampling phase launched to study cyanotoxin-producing blooms in Northern California lake

Posted July 30, 2021

SCCWRP and its partners have launched the second sampling phase of a two-year study investigating the environmental and genetic factors that are driving the proliferation of ecologically disruptive, toxin-producing cyanobacterial blooms in Northern California’s Clear Lake.

The study, which kicked off in fall 2019, will use state-of-the-art remote sensing and molecular methods to gain insights into when, where and why the blooms are occurring, as well as the genetic potential of cyanobacterial species to produce different types of cyanotoxins. Clear Lake is California’s largest freshwater lake; concentrations of the microcystin toxin have been above the state’s trigger levels for recreational uses in five out of the past six years.

The methods and technologies being tested in Clear Lake will help inform similar efforts statewide to better understand how managers can mitigate and prevent cyanobacterial blooms.

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