The National Center for Water Quality Research says the mild winter and spring temperatures could mean toxic blue-green algae will make its appearance in western Lake Erie earlier than usual.
Dr. David Baker says the algae will show up sooner if the water heats up more quickly. Another critical factor will be rainfall and the amount of fertilizer that runs into the lake from nearby farms.
The large, odorous, algae blooms were the worst in memory on Lake Erie last summer. It’s believed they are fed by fertilizer and manure run-off. At their worst, they've forced beach closures and driven away boaters and anglers.
Faced with the same problem, officials at St. Mary’s lake in Celina, on Monday began a five-million dollar dredging and Alum treatment aimed at stemming the algae bloom.