What the algae bloom prediction means for Lake Erie

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TOLEDO, Ohio  — Late summer on western Lake Erie means fishing, boating and unsightly algae — at least in recent years.

But researchers are forecasting that this season’s harmful algae bloom will be less severe than those over the past few years.

Less rain during the spring and early summer months adds up to less phosphorus from farms and sewage treatment plants flowing into the lake and fueling the algae.

Although the forecast calls for an algae bloom of moderate size, there still are some unknowns.

If heavy storms hit over the next month, that could change the outlook.

There are other factors, too. Winds and currents play critical roles.

The algae bloom that contaminated Toledo’s water supply two years ago was moderate in size but settled over the city’s water intake.