West Virginia Filamentous Algae Survey

Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin

Project OverviewAlgae monitoring

ICPRB scientists are collecting water chemistry samples and making filamentous algae measurements to determine the impact of alga on the overall health of the West Virginia portions of the South Branch Potomac, Cacapon, and Shenandoah rivers. Algae cover is measured in terms of percent stream cover. The data are analyzed and utilized to help identify and refine West Virginia decisions concerning impaired waters and for refining the assessment methodologies.

Current work

The survey continued in the summers of 2016 and 2017 at routine monitoring sites on the Cacapon River and South Branch Potomac River. In addition to collecting water samples and algal cover measurements, ICPRB staff explored the effects of filamentous algae blooms on benthic macroinvertebrate community structure in a case study of the Cacapon.  Continuous measurements of dissolved oxygen, temperature and light were made at bloom and non-bloom sites from June through October.

Annual survey results:

Contact us for information on more recent results.