New Tool To Track Harmful Algae Blooms

Anglers and recreational boaters now have access to a new tool that helps them track algae blooms and how to avoid them.

It's called the Harmful Algae Bloom Tracker, or HAB.

Originally created for drinking water managers but it is being expanded for those using the lake to show where the clear water is located.

The University of Michigan's Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research and the Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab have been testing the tracker.

"The HAB tracker can help anglers find clear water and continue to fish because although the anglers that I talk to gave many reasons for why they want to avoid the algae, everybody agreed that one of the main reason is because it is just gross," says Institute Researcher Devin Gill.  "It smells, it looks bad, it is not something they enjoy fishing in so this tool can help them to try to avoid it."

She admits there is some skepticism around the predictions .

"There are many different factors that go into making predictions about living things like algae so we are trying to come up with some ways to make our explanations more clear and transparent so non-scientists can understand how these models work."

The HAB tracker uses colour coding on maps to indicate where blooms are.

It can be located at

With files from AM800's Patty Handysides