Historical data on Hatchet Lake and Chickenbone Lake algal blooms

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Kelly
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Historical data on Hatchet Lake and Chickenbone Lake algal blooms

Post by Kelly »

There's a part of my Minong thorough hike that has me going from Malone Bay to Hatchet Lake to East Chickenbone to Daisy over three days. I've now adjusted my departure date to on or about July 1, 2026.

Both of those lakes are prone to algal blooms, so it would be helpful to know when algal blooms have been recorded on them. July seems like a likely time.

So far I have not been able to find such info online, so I asked the Houghton office if they had historical data on this over the last ten years. They do not have this information.

For planning purposes, I think I'll have to leave Malone early in the day with enough water to make it to Daisy on the same day (31.6 miles by my route—that is not the shortest possible distance). Then upon arrival at Hatchet Lake, if there is no algal bloom, I can safely stay there. If there is, then I'll have to move on to East Chickenbone and conduct the same analysis upon arrival (Lake Livermore is an alternate water source and also prone to algal blooms). If it too has an algal bloom, I'll have to move on to Daisy, and it's likely that I will arrive...late.

Part of my logic rests on the idea that it will be easier to carry a lot of water for a single long day than for 2-3 days, taking my chances at each spot.

Possible workarounds include:
  • Cross-country camp near the southwest end of Siskiwit Lake the night before. That would cut off a few miles.
  • Top up on water at every likely water source along the way. There are no guarantees here, but it probably won't be completely dry.
Besides changing up the whole itinerary, what would you do in my hiking boots?
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Re: Historical data on Hatchet Lake and Chickenbone Lake algal blooms

Post by torpified »

I think, if there was an algal bloom at Hatchet, I'd reroute to stay at Superior sites: carry on to Todd that night, then McCargo (or Moskey) the next, before arriving at Daisy as scheduled. I guess that's changing up the whole itinerary though---not optimal for a thorough hike!

Another idea (not failsafe): if you're passing within striking distance of either Hatchet or ECB earlier in the trip, set up a water cache. (Not sure the rangers would approve: a water cache is a trace!)

There's a little about caching water here: https://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/backpacking.htm
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Re: Historical data on Hatchet Lake and Chickenbone Lake algal blooms

Post by Kelly »

Caching water—what a good idea! It's only a trace if it's not picked up...right? That could be a real option around day 14, and there are a couple of ways to protect a cache from wildlife.

Changing the itinerary isn't impossible, but indeed, it would complicate thoroughness.

Thanks!
2012 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021 | 2022 | 2023 | 2026 A Minong thorough hike
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