Michigan lake known for turquoise water sees algae outbreak

Investigations of algae in Torch Lake underway

(Photo: Natasha Dado)

CENTRAL LAKE, Mich. – A northern Michigan lake that’s famous for its turquoise waters is facing an outbreak of brown algae that’s left its sandy bottom covered with mushy, squishy mats.

Rick Welsh, a part-time lakeshore resident, said the brown algae was first noticed about a decade ago, but now the “golden-brown algae” grows in thick mats and sticks to the otherwise sugar-sand bottom of the lake in Antrim County’s Torch Lake, according to the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

“It’s oozy, yucky and mucky,” Welsh said. “It easily comes up when disturbed.”

Welsh, a member for the Torch Lake Protection Alliance, said that there are investigations into the algae with results due in the fall.

Officials with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, have said it appears to be a non-harmful form of algae.

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