This recent report by Chris Teichreb of ESRD describes the situation at Pigeon Lake and provides this statement in the Summary:
“Overall, there are several options that can be pursued at Pigeon Lake. Each option should be examined carefully from a cost-benefit analysis and ensure that environmental impacts to Pigeon Lake are minimized. It should also be kept in mind that many options do not provide immediate results, but rather are longer term strategies for the management of nutrients. Given the long turnover time, natural productivity of the lake and the fact that development has been ongoing at Pigeon Lake for the past 60 years, successes in the management of nuisance blooms should be viewed as a long-term ongoing strategy.
It is also important to note that the response of Pigeon Lake to the various options in terms of frequency and intensity of blooms will likely vary from year to year. While cyanobacterial ecology is relatively well understood, variations in population composition, food web dynamics and climatic variability make predicting the occurrence of nuisance blooms an inexact science. However, if strategies for the reduction of nutrients in Pigeon Lake are not incorporated, it will continue to be susceptible to nuisance blue-green blooms in the future.”
Municipal expansion plans for the Sylvan Lake watershed also have potential to increase the risk of blue-green algal blooms.