'Lake Snot' spreading in South Canterbury

5 Jul 2017

An algae that produces a brown, snot-like slime has been found in at least a dozen South Island lakes, including some of the country’s most pristine.

It likely exists undetected in other lakes around the country due to a shortage of testing, a scientist says.

Lindavia is a microscopic algae that can produce lake snot, a sticky substance that clings to people’s skin and clogs fishing gear, boat engines and filtration systems.

It is related to didymo, the nuisance pest that infected many South Island rivers.

Lake snot is non-toxic and does not have any known health effects.

Until now, Lindavia was known to be in a handful of lakes, most in Otago.

However recent testing has confirmed its presence in a further seven Canterbury lakes, including Tekapo, Benmore and Waitaki. See more