New Sensors Deployed as part of the Belgrade Lakes Gloeotrichia Monitoring Efforts

– Logan Parker, Director of Programming and Assistant Lake Science Manager

Promptly at 9:00 AM Monday morning (July 24th), a number of sensors deployed around Great Pond and Long Pond began a 2-month long, in situ data collection effort. These 15 HOBO sensors are gathering temperature and light data at the observation sites where volunteers around the lakes have been collecting gloeotrichia observation data.


Gloeotrichia – Photo courtesy of Dr. Peter Countway, Bigelow Laboratory

Gloeotrichia is a cyanobacteria (formally referred to as Blue-green Algae) that occurs in many lakes throughout New England. These organisms have the means to control their buoyancy, residing on the lake sediments for much of the year before rising en masse to be distributed throughout the lake’s surface waters by the currents. Collecting temperature data will give us more insights about the environmental conditions that coincide with the bloom events that have become increasingly numerous in recent decades.

35895409872_b8db8db724_kTraveling by land and water, Brenda Fekete, Logan Parker, and Colby College research intern, Amy Andreini, met with volunteers and installed the sensors on weighted cable 1 meter below the water’s surface. These sensors will remain in place hanging below the ends of docks in places including Hatch Cove, Hoyt Island, Pine Island, and Long Point in Great Pond and Beaver Cove, Bonzos Hollow, and Tracy Cove in Long Pond.

A new observation station was established in Great Pond’s North Bay where Great Meadow Stream flows into the lake. This site is being stewarded by the Belgrade Region Conservation Alliance’s Milfoil crew who work in the stream and the bay regularly throughout the season. Anecdotal reports state that gloeotrichia can be abundant in this area throughout late summer, so we are grateful to have the milfoil team’s support! Students on the MLRC’s water quality research team continue to collect observation data at the DEP sampling sites throughout the watershed.

We would like to issue a special thanks to the Belgrade Lakes Association for sponsoring this research effort by providing our program with these new sensors.