Mount Arlington Beach is the latest to be closed by Blue-Green Algae in Lake Hopatcong

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This means that the problem is now on the West & East Shores of Lake Hopatcong. While Lake Hopatcong is undergoing a common lake phenomenon, there are dangerous and toxic issues on any contact with the Blue-Green Algae from the water.

Where the Blue-Green Algae has been Sighted:

  • Mount Arlinngton Beach
  • Nolan’s Point
  • Wildwood Shores
  • Cow Tongue Point
  • Pebble Beach (Byram Bay Beach)
  • Sand Harbor Beach

Note: These areas keep expanding, so assume extreme caution on all areas of Lake Hopatcong until further notice.

Warning from Sussex County Health Department:

The Sussex County Health Dept. has been notified that Byram Bay Beach and Sand Harbor Beach should be closed and the following advisory posted at public access points: Danger/ High Risk – No Contact and Ingestion (Humans and Animals). A confirmed Harmful Algal Bloom is present with levels quantified at or above the NJ Health Advisory Guidance. Do not drink or have contact with the water, including, but not limited to, swimming, wading, and watersports. Fish caught in this waterbody should not be eaten. Pets and livestock should not contact or drink the water.

Precautions that should be taken during this period:

  •    Keep your pets away from the water
  •    Do not eat any fish caught in the Lake
  •    Limit your contact with the Lake Water
    •        No direct contact with the water
    •        No swimming
    •        No Kayaking
    •        No Jetskis
    •        No Water Skiing
    •        Limited Boating

Why are we getting these algal blooms?

According to Princeton Hydro, the long-time environmental consulting firm for Lake Hopatcong, the dominant algal group in the samples recently collected were blue‐green algae (also known as cyanobacteria), with the dominant genus being Anabaena, which is well known to bloom over the summer months, prefer higher phosphorus concentrations, and has the potential to generate cyanotoxins. The current weather pattern this week of short bursts of intense rains/storm events, followed by warm conditions in the 70’s to low 80’s is perfect for the development of such blooms. Thus, a number of lakes in northern NJ and northeastern PA have been reporting such near‐shore blue-green algal blooms this week.

How long will the advisories be in place?

According to the Lake Hopatcong Commission website, bathing beaches will remain closed until the bloom subsides and two subsequent sample results are below action levels.

According to Princeton Hydro, it is hoped that after Thursday, once this existing weather pattern breaks up, we may see a reduction in these near-shore blooms. However, this is also based on the prevailing wind and how much phosphorus is in the water. We will continue to closely monitor the situation, and I will try to bump up our July cyanotoxin sampling event earlier in the month - hopefully before the 4th of July.

Hopatcong Lake Regional News will continue to update you on the Blue-Green Algae conditions on Lake Hopatcong as the weather conditions change and we learn it’s safe to once again use our great lake!

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