Michigan State researchers studying algae on Torch Lake - WNEM TV 5

Michigan State researchers studying algae on Torch Lake

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Local organizations and researchers are working together to determine what's causing algae growth on Torch Lake near Traverse City.

Residents became concerned this summer after realizing a golden-brown layer of algae on the traditionally clear lake had gotten worse since appearing last year. Some wonder whether zebra mussels, increased development or leaky septic systems are playing a role in the algae growth.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that the Three Lakes Association and Torch Lake Protection Alliance are among the groups collaborating with Michigan State University's Center for Water Science on the study.

Center co-director R. Jan Stevenson says increased nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, likely caused the new growth.

Stevenson and other researchers are analyzing lake water samples to test that theory.

Researchers anticipate results in December.

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