GFM Network News


Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, can produce toxins that are harmful to livestock, wildlife and people.

Algae blooms can endanger livestock

Hot weather can promote blooms which can produce harmful toxins

Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, can produce toxins that are harmful to livestock, wildlife and people. The growth of this bacteria is aided by high temperatures. “The hot, dry conditions we are experiencing are perfect for the production of cyanobacteria,” says Miranda Meehan, North Dakota State University Extension livestock environmental stewardship specialist. Given the current conditions, producers and the public should

dugout

Rains bring second wind to pastures, water supplies

DROUGHT | Many producers got desperately needed rain in the second week of June, but low water concerns have not been totally banished Tyler Fulton’s dugout looks very different from the image of an ever-deepening hole and dwindling water that he posted to Twitter only weeks ago. At the time, the Birtle-area farmer and president of the


Alum a useful tool to combat toxic algae

Alum a useful tool to combat toxic algae

The chemical has been used in the U.S. to clear lakes of algal blooms but hasn’t seen widespread acceptance in Canada

It’s no magic bullet, but aluminum sulphate can significantly reduce toxic algal blooms in lakes, American scientist John Holz told conservationists at a Winnipeg conference on December 3. “It is a common tool,” said Holz, whose company HAB Aquatic Solutions, has done 104 applications of the product, also called ‘alum,’ in the U.S. Holz spoke

Aaron Sawatsky of Ninette checks the condition of one of the released fish in the release pond cut into the ice.

PHOTOS: Fish derby helps promote lake health

Pelican Lake attracted hundreds in early March for the event

A total of 885 fishermen and women registered for the Healthy Lake Committee ice fishing derby March 3 on Pelican Lake, near Ninette. The organization works to ensure a lake clear of algae and healthy fish stocks, mainly through the installation of an aeration system that keeps the bottom of the lake clear of sediments,

A photo taken by a drone of lake 227 at IISD Experimental Lakes Area where the experiment on eutrophication has been taking place since 1969.

Nitrogen reduction not the path

Reducing how much nitrogen enters a lake has little impact on algal blooms, IISD researchers say

If you take the nitrogen out of the equation for lake algal blooms it turns out you really haven’t changed things at all. According to researchers at the Experimental Lakes Area, operated by Winnipeg’s International Institute for Sustainable Development, that’s because many of the algae responsible for the harmful blooms can turn around and fix


Lake Winnipeg algae blooms can create, under certain conditions,
powerful neurotoxins.

Lake Winnipeg blooms create neurotoxins

Researchers say the substances have been associated with 
several health conditions

Manitoba’s largest lake is the host to potentially harmful toxins caused by cyanobacteria, more commonly known as “blue-green algae.” Researchers from the University of British Columbia, working with the Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium, were looking for a specific toxin called BMAA that’s been linked with conditions ranging from Alzheimer’s to Lou Gehrig’s disease. “Cyanobacteria blooms


A toxic algae bloom in Lake Erie viewed by satellite in 2014.

Agriculture major contributor to Lake Erie algae blooms

Better on-farm management would go a long ways towards solving the problem

There are two easily identifiable solutions to the Lake Erie algae blooms, said an American researcher, but success will require the co-operation of thousands of farmers. Jeffrey Reutter, a researcher at the Lake Erie island-based Ohio State University Stone Lab research station, has seen both the 1970s sewage-driven algae bloom, and the current blooms that


Chris Snip of Agris Co-operative works with farmers to check soil health and fertilizer practices of farmers near Lake Erie as part of the Great Lakes Agricultural Stewardship Initiative. (John Greig photo)

Phosphorus program aims to reduce Lake Erie nutrients

Chatham, Ont. — Henry Denotter’s farms near Kingsville, Ont. are close to the Wigle Creek, which flows into Lake Erie and takes with it any residues it pulls from nature and farmers’ fields. The Wigle Creek subwatershed, west of Leamington, has turned into ground zero in long-term research on how farmers can reduce phosphorus running

Once a lake enters an ecological crisis, it can be impossible to rehabilitate it.

Tipping points could predict the future of lakes

Dutch researchers say keeping a closer eye on key indicators could give water managers a fighting chance at avoiding catastrophe

A group of Dutch scientists has been trying to predict when lakes will enter ecological crises by monitoring key tipping points. Researcher Alena Gsell, of the Netherlands Institute of Technology, says the term ‘tipping point’ has become popular to describe sudden and fundamental changes that take place even though exterior conditions haven’t changed as radically.