Examine natural methods to control blue-green algae

I thank this paper for bringing forward relevant topics.

Dear Editor,

I thank this paper for bringing forward relevant topics.

I apologize in advance for asking to have my submissions published. Many of my letters are public confirmations of letters I have already sent to council or other agencies. I find public exposure to be the most effective.

Recently the editorial was on blue green algae. Sylvan Lake watershed is very lucky as few major streams flow into it. It’s mainly spring fed.

Blue green algae is ancient — and its carried on migrating waterfowl. It’s a very useful growth and is harvested as fertilizer in some areas. Yes it grows best in nutrient rich water. The good news for us in Alberta is that the growing season is very short. The algae only grows in a very specific temperature range. It is always in the lake — rotting hay, other grasses, everything that in found in nature can feed it.

The County of Athabasca in Alberta is looking at a control machine to break the algae life cycle, there are 20 of these machines in use in Alberta at present. I ask readers to go to the Solar Bee website to inform themselves as to the uses of the machine.

The machines break the growth cycle of the algae in one form and it may be very useful for a dead water area such as the Marina Bay marine. Stagnant water allows it to grow best. Motor boating, with large boats helps break the cycle, high winds and even harvesting the algae for resale are all great alternatives to taking a passive approach. Lawn fertilizer is ridiculously miniscule compared to the power of a hay field or even a single cow.

You know I would like to put out my opinion, and it may be contrary to many.

As I fly over Alberta’s north I see thousands of lakes, fish habitat, duck habitat, protected yada-yada. Is there any possibility we could make 50 lakes into people habitat? It seems to be a place where we go to breed and couple, do our waggle dance. Is there any possibility that Alberta could designate 50 lakes out of the million in the province to be people habitat? That means we build beaches to nest on, and other improvements that may ultimately harm the grass, but in the long term be a low maintenance solution. And accept that people need the lakes as well.

I advised the provincial government in the past of methods to harvest grasshopper infestations,  locusts in southern Alberta to be used as poultry feed, and the algae should be harvested and controlled in people lakes. Other small facts about algae — it produces about 20 per cent of the oxygen on the planet, snails eat it, and clams filter 100 gallons of water a day each.

I asked the Sylvan Lake watershed to examine the use of natural methods to control it. It’s easy to do, other places do it.

Lyle Dressler,

Sylvan Lake


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