Algae monitoring is stepped up

ALGAE monitoring is being stepped up in the Gippsland Lakes as the weather warms and the conditions for growth become more favourable.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning regional coordinator for algae management in Gippsland, Chris Barry, said levels of algae were monitored regularly throughout the year, but more frequently in summer months.

“This monitoring provides us with current information on the algal trends in the lakes, which will help us to predict any potential blooms and be prepared to respond to them,” he said.

“DELWP and supporting agencies are keeping a watchful eye on the monitoring results over summer as the warmer conditions increase the potential for algal blooms.

“Weather conditions, nutrient levels, salinity and freshwater inflows all affect the type and levels of algae and can contribute to the formation of algal blooms.”

Mr Barry said DELWP had increased the frequency of algae monitoring to once a week and the results would be publicly available on the DELWP website.

Monitoring will continue throughout the summer, and he said communities would be kept up to date with information about algae levels.

This information will be provided through a range of outlets, including local media and visitor information centres and circulated to tourism operators.

It will also be posted on the DELWP Gippsland Facebook page.

Mr Barry said algae were a naturally occurring organism present in all waterways.

“The Gippsland Lakes contain many different types of algae at varying levels as part of the natural environment and balance of the lakes system,” he said.