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The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is not currently conducting any routine monitoring for blue-green algae or blue-green algal toxins.Blue-green algae, also known as Cyanobacteria, are a group of photosynthetic bacteria that many people refer to as "pond scum." Blue-green algae are most often blue-green in color, but can also be blue, green, reddish-purple, or brown.Blue-green algae, like true algae, make up a portion of the phytoplankton in many water bodies.However, blue-green algae are generally not eaten by other aquatic organisms, and thus are not an important part of the food chain.Most algae are microscopic and serve as the main supply of "high energy" food for larger organisms like zooplankton, which in turn are eaten by small fish.
Increases in biological oxygen demand result in decreases in oxygen concentration in the water, and this can adversely affect fish and other aquatic life, and can even result in fish kills.
Report a Case with potential health effects caused by blue-green algae, visit the Department of Health Services.
If you are (or your local community is) interested in collecting samples for analysis, please contact the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene at (800)442-4618.
Many different species of blue-green algae occur in Wisconsin waters, but the most commonly detected include sp.
It is not always the same species that blooms in a given waterbody, and the dominant species present can change over the course of the season.
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Discolored water is an aesthetic issue, but when blue-green algae reach bloom densities, they can actually reduce light penetration, which can adversely affect other aquatic organisms both directly (e.g., other phytoplankton and aquatic plants) and indirectly (e.g., zooplankton and fish that depend on phytoplankton and plants).