The scientist who spotted that toxic algae bloom in Lake Erie this week is speaking out for the first time, talking about his discovery with Erie News Now.

In a telephone interview, Bowling Green State University Microbiologist George Bullerjahn said the algae patch that tested positive for low levels of toxins was about 6-8 miles long, located about 10 miles north of Erie.

The professor  was on the Environmental Protection Agency research vessel Lake Guardian that had stopped in Erie on Tuesday.

He said he was surprised at the location of the bloom. 

In  our area, algae blooms are typically found along the shoreline and in marinas.

He said, "We were surprised to see it where we did. One possibility is this could have actually started as a bloom in Presque Isle Bay that was pulled out into the lake by rain events."

Locally, testing for harmful algae is done weekly at 20 locations along the Lake Erie shoreline and Presque Isle Bay.

Breanna Adams of the Erie County Health Department said, "The toxins can be harmful to dogs or people as they are in the water near the shore. So those are the areas that are being tested."

The testing began several years ago.

Warnings are issued as needed to protect people and pets.