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Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

Local residents concerned about foam in lake channels

By William Kincaid

A foamy substance blanketed the channel behind Frank Richey's home at 5316 Chann. . .

Along with a recent report of a blue green algae toxin in Grand Lake, some residents are concerned about the large amount of foamy substance in a few lake channels this summer.
"The whole channel was completely filled - it was terrible," said Frank Richey who lives at 5316 Channel Drive near Montezuma.
Richey said the foam was as high as 2 feet near his lakeside home early Friday morning.
"I thought it snowed," one of Richey's neighbors said about the channel.
Another neighbor, Jim Masonbrink, said he's lived here for 20 years and "never seen anything like it."
Doug Maloney, fish management supervisor at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, this morning said he is not overly concerned about the reports of foam or a filmy substance in lake channels. He went to the Channel Drive area on Friday and said there was no sign of distress to the fish and no fish kills. He also said the material was dissipating.
Of the two channels where Maloney observed foam, both channel openings faced northwest, the direction the wind had been blowing for over a day, he said.
At a Monday Lake Development Corporation meeting, Grand Lake St. Marys State Park Assistant Director Brian Miller gave the explanation he received from the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers.
"It's a byproduct of the breakdown of organic material in the lake. With the hot temperatures last week, the high levels of bacteria and the lack of flow in the channels, we are seeing more foam than normal," Miller read.
Agitated water increases the possibility of foam as organic materials decomposes, Maloney said.
Maloney also said he would not completely rule out the possibility of a man-made substance, such as detergent or soap, in the water, because he did not take a sample. He said he only takes water samples in the event of fish kills.
- William Kincaid
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