Government of New Brunswick
An abbreviated identification guide to New Brunswick’s aquatic curiosities


Pollen

Pollen may appear as a yellow film visible on a lake’s surface and commonly accumulates in coves.  The appearance of pollen on lake surfaces typically occurs in the spring and early summer and is often pollen from pine and other trees.

 

PollenBassLake

Courtesy of the American Society of Limnology  and Oceanography

 

pollen21

Photo courtesy of the University of Maine

 

pollen3

Courtesy of the Lake Champlain Committee

Green Algae

Green algae can grow on the bottom of rivers and in the shallow areas of lakes and can attach to submerged objects such as rocks, branches and docks.  As the water temperature rises throughout the summer, green algae can become more prevalent. When algae become detached from their substrate they can form clumps that appear brown or green and may be stringy. These can float to the surface and form mats.

 

Green algae

Courtesy of the University of Utah

Green algae

Courtesy of the NB Department of Environment and Local Government

Bryozoans

Bryozoans (also known as moss animals) are underwater colonies of tiny, colonial animals which filter water for their food. They grow attached to sticks or rocks, prefer slow moving water and can range in size from golf balls to footballs.

 

Bryozoa1

Courtesy of the University of Massachusetts

Bryozoa2

Courtesy of Tim Vechter

Cyanobacteria

The appearance of blue-green algae blooms can vary.

Example of a whole lake in New Brunswick turning green from a blue-green algae
bloom.

AlgaeBloom4

Courtesy of the NB Department of Environment and Local Government

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Example of colonies of blue-green algae accumulating along the shoreline.

AlgaeBloom6

Courtesy of the NB Department of Environment and Local Government

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Example of a blue-green algae bloom starting to die off and changing color from green to blue green.

AlgaeBloom5

Courtesy of the NB Department of Environment and Local Government

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Examples of blue-green algae mats in a river and along the shoreline in New Brunswick.  These benthic algal mats can also have a spongy appearance as they float to the surface because of the oxygen that is produced during photosynthesis (top right photo).

AlgaeBloom7

Courtesy of the NB Department of Environment and Local Government

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AlgaeBloom9

Courtesy of the NB Department of Environment and Local Government

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AlgaeBloom8

Courtesy of the NB Department of Environment and Local Government

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Examples of blue-green algae mats along the NB shoreline look like clumps and can appear black, brown or dark green in colour.  When these mats dry, they can also have a bleached appearance (top right photo).

AlgaeBloom10

Courtesy of the NB Department of Environment and Local Government

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AlgaeBloom12

Courtesy of the NB Department of Environment and Local Government

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AlgaeBloom11

Courtesy of the NB Department of Environment and Local Government

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Additional examples of blue-green algae mats:

AlgaeBloom13

  

AlgaeBloom15

  

AlgaeBloom14

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Rosen, B.H., and St. Amand, A. (2015). Field and laboratory guide to freshwater cyanobacteria harmful algal blooms for Native American and Alaska Native Communities. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2015-1164. Retrieved from: https://www.mfe.govt.nz/sites/default/files/nz-guidelines-cyanobacteria-recreational-fresh-waters.pdf

Aquatic Plants

Aquatic plants have roots, leaves and stems and can vary in size. Some species float on the surface of the water while others can grow attached to the bottom of a lake.

duckweed

Duckweed - Courtesy of the Westchester County Department of Planning

AquaticPlants1

Aquatic plants - Courtesy of the Québec Ministère de Développement durable, Environnement et Parcs

duckweed2

Duckweed
Courtesy of the BNET

AquaticPlants2

Aquatic plants - Courtesy of the Québec Ministère de Développement durable, Environnement et Parcs

Foam

Foam collecting on windward lake shorelines or streaking along lake surfaces is typically a natural occurrence triggered by organic matter contained in the water mixing with air through wind and wave action.  The foam can have an earthy or fishy smell and can range from white to a greyish, yellowish or brownish colour.

Langmuir

Courtesy A. Thurnherr. Source: A Field Guide to Aquatic Phenomena – U of Maine

foam

Foam