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Warm summer has algae growing on Lake Superior

BAYFIELD - Normally, Lake Superior is so cold that it rarely gets algae. But that's apparently not the case this summer.

In Bayfield County for example, about two miles of shoreline from Cornucopia to the Apostle Islands' sea caves recently had a light coating of blue-green algae. And it created a pond scum that's partially blamed on the hot summer. Nancy Larson of the state DNR tells Wisconsin Public Radio that the scum is due to several factors. They include the warmer water, plus flooding from mid-June that pushed nutrients into Lake Superior.

Much of the algae has since broken up, but Larson says it's possible it can come back. Apostle Islands resource manager Julie Van Stappen says it's unusual to see any algae blooms in Lake Superior. She said the water temperature is about 67 degrees - nine degrees above normal.