$60,000 needed to fight smelly algae in Lake Norman

Hundreds of people gathered Tuesday evening for a community meeting to talk about the foul-smelling algae that has been popping up in Lake Norman.

“It mainly showed up on hole 18,” said resident Butch English. “I didn’t know what it was. It didn’t seem normal. It looks ugly. It almost looks like feces, if you will, but I couldn’t smell it or anything.

PAST COVERAGE: Community meeting planned to discuss algae in Lake Norman

Residents were told it would cost about $60,000 to combat Lyngbya cyanobacteria, a blue-green algae.

It was seen floating in about 10 acres of water, negatively impacting swimmers, pets and personal watercraft, officials said.

State officials recommend that people and their pets stay away.

Residents want the problem fixed by April before people flock to the lake and they want the state to pay for it.

“One of the takeaways from the North Carolina state report is that if this is allowed to continue to grow, it becomes difficult to manage at harmful levels,” said Brett Hardist, chief scientist at Duke Energy.

He explained that lyngbya can be very difficult to control, mainly because the state only has programs aimed at controlling invasive aquatic plants, but not algae.

“They also have programs that monitor harmful algal blooms, but they don’t manage harmful algal blooms, so there’s a little bit of a lag at the state level or at the federal level,” Harist said.

Residents, who have considered helping fund the cleanup, wonder what the chances are of it coming back.

Funds need to be raised before anything can be done about it.

Community members held a meeting Tuesday evening, which was not sponsored by any government agency or municipality.

VIDEO: Harmful algae found in Lake Wylie

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