Coverage of the Lake Hopatcong Commission Meeting – Presentations by NJDEP & Princeton Hydro

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This is the second of our three-part coverage of the Lake Hopatcong Commission Meeting on Harmful Algae Blooms. In this article, we have a brief summary and full video coverage of the presentations that were made during the meeting.

Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe

Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabeNJDEP is working hard to help monitor and communicate the conditions of Lake Hopatcong

This Includes:

  • NJDEP Arial Flights once a Week
  • Physical testing on Tuesdays and Thursdays

The testing results will be posted within 24 hours on the NJDEP Website

The Swimming Advisory is still in effect for Lake Hopatcong

Boating is okay and encouraged by the NJDEP


Leslie McGeorge MSPH - NJDEP Administrator of Fresh Water Monitoring

  • Leslie McGeorge MSPH NJDEP Administrator of Fresh Water Monitoring MovieThis is the first time the NJDEP has seen a problem of this magnitude in Lake Hopatcong

  • The most recent tests by NJDEP shows toxins in 31 of the 48 samples taken

  • Testing now is focused on the main body of water; once that shows improvement the NJDEP will start testing at the beaches

  • Bacteria is normal in lakes, but Harmful Algae Blooms are not
    • This shows us that something is out of balance in the lake

  • New Jersey has a harmful algal bloom strategy that the NJDEP is following, which provides a unified
    approach across all State Agencies

  • To follow Monitoring Results, go to
  • Latest Test Results can be found here

Fred S. Lubnow, Ph. D Director of Aquatic Programs – Princeton Hydro

  • Director of Aquatic Programs Princeton Hydro MovieYou need three things to get a harmful algal bloom, high water temperatures, calm water, and phosphate

  • Princeton Hydro has been monitoring Lake Hopatcong since the 1980s, and they are also testing Lake Hopatcong along with the NJDEP

  • Phosphate is the #1 cause of harmful algal blooms, and the level of Phosphate has been steadily climbing in Lake Hopatcong. Testing in 2019 show the highest level seen so far in Lake Hopatcong

    • 40% of the Phosphate are coming for Septic Tanks, and another 40% comes from Nutrients being picked up in the Water Runoff

  • Last Water Sampling was done July 2nd in eight different areas
    • Out of the eight sites, only two showed over 20,000 cell count which outside of the NJ guidelines

  • Princeton Hydro developed a long-term strategy in 2016, and implementation Iof the stormwater and sewer portions of the watershed implementation plan has already reduced the Phosphate in Lake Hopatcong by about 33%.

What can be done?

  • Princeton Hydro is currently updating the original 2016 watershed implementation plan that will be a further guide to reduce the Phosphate in Lake Hopatcong

  • Princeton Hydro recommends that Beaches and Coves develop their own restoration plans that includes several things like circulators, bubblers, shoreline stabilization, goose management and the careful use of algaecides. For more information, contact the Lake Hopatcong Commission.

Series of Articles:


Additionally, the entire Video coverage is available online (2 hours and 45 minutes)

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