Not all blooms are cyanobacteria. Non-harmful algae and other aquatic plants can be found in many ponds or lakes, and may have excessive growth like cyanobacteria. Although these may be a nuisance, they are not likely to cause health concerns.
So how do you know if your bloom is cyanobacteria or not? You can always contact a professional by completing the Suspected Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Notification Form MO 780-2827. A member of the response team will be glad to assist you in determining whether you should be concerned about the bloom. The photo gallery below shows examples of aquatic plants and algae that are NOT cyanobacteria. The links below provide additional resources that contain examples of both cyanobacteria and non-blue-green algae.
- Field and Laboratory Guide to Freshwater Cyanobacteria Harmful Algal Blooms for Native American and Alaska Native Communities
- Blue-Green Algae/Cyanobacteria photos