Algal blooms on Lake Erie and Maumee River cause issues for businesses

Algal blooms on Lake Erie and Maumee River cause issues for businesses
(Source: WTOL)
(Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Green and gross - that's what Sandpiper guests thought of our Maumee River after their boat tour on Friday.

"I'll tell you what, I live right on the Mississippi River and I thought that was kind of nasty until I saw this," said Sue Spychala, a visitor from Baton Rouge.

We first told you about the river's algae bloom on Wednesday, but it is affecting boaters.

It's hard to miss in downtown Toledo.

The algae is thick on the Maumee River even sticking to boats and rocks.

It's more than just an eyesore though, it's also hurting business.

"This year is going to be one of the most major impacts that we've had," said Paul Pacholski, a boat captain.

Pacholski spends most of his time on the water.

He is president of the Lake Erie Charter Boat Association and says they have lost near 20-30% of their business this year to the green waters.

"As somebody that's making a living out on the lake, it's very detrimental. You know people read that Lake Erie is in the midst of a major algal bloom, well they don't want to go," said Pacholski. "You have your choices on where you're going to spend your vacation."

Sue was here in Toledo for a family reunion and took a ride on the Sandpiper. She was shocked by the Maumee's water.

"I just heard on the news this morning and we knew we were going on this river boat that the certain parts of the river are real bad and that's exactly where we were going," said Sue Spyschala. "I was like, 'oh I hope it doesn't stink' and it doesn't really stink, but it's just nasty looking."

Pacholski is also a captain for the Sandpiper and says with the algae spreading they have changed their routes to head up river.

"We're actually taking a lot of our cruises that way to avoid the algae and to show people the beauty of the river and not focus on this negative," said

With high temperatures expected this weekend, many people are likely to head out towards the water.

You should know before you put on your swimsuit there are still advisories on the lake and river, and you should avoid contact when the green algae is on the water.

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