WFSU Local
3:54 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

DEP Biologist Says Toxins Present In Lake Lafayette Algae Bloom

An algae bloom in Tallahassee’s Lake Lafayette is toxic, say state biologists.

The algae bloom in Lake Lafayette has infested the fishing fingers on the west side of the lake, near where it backs up to the Piney-Z neighborhood. Florida Fish and Wildlife officials are putting the blame on excess fertilizer runoff generated by the neighborhood’s hundreds of homes.

According to the Department of Environmental Protection, which tests algae, the bloom is now giving off a toxin called microcystin at a rate DEP biologist David Whiting says may trigger health advisories:

“Currently the Department of Health uses that 10 part-per-billion threshold as a level where they don’t recommend any kind of recreation or letting pets recreate in that water," he said.

Whiting says people should stay away from the part of the lake with the bloom, but fishing is still allowed in other areas of the lake clear of algae.

WFSU-TV's  Rob Diaz de Villegas went on an eco-tour of Lake Lafayette a few months ago. Check out his video below, and read about his adventure here.