Fears of a potentially disrupted start to the fishing season have been allayed with the latest results from water quality sampling at Waituna Lagoon showing no further sign of potentially toxic algae.
Monitoring carried out by Environment Southland on 15 August showed a high abundance of planktonic cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) in Waituna Lagoon. The latest results, taken 13 September, have come back clear.
Director of science and information Graham Sevicke-Jones said that while we don’t know the exact cause of this appearance of cyanobacteria and subsequent disappearance it is most likely due to a change in conditions. “With the change in weather recently, it most likely created unfavourable conditions for the algae to grow,” Graham said.
Environment Southland monitors cyanobacteria monthly at a number of river and lake sites across Southland. We will continue to monitor the Waituna Lagoon as part of the normal schedule.
As the monitoring doesn’t cover all rivers, all of the time, please take care when you’re in and around waterways. Cyanobacteria can occur in any freshwater. Check out the Environment Southland website for what to look for so you know how to identify it and what to do if you come in contact with it.