Algae blooms on High Rock Lake

Algae blooms on High Rock Lake

High Rock Lake is the bathtub into which the upper Yadkin drains. In 2016, a report from NCDEQ showed that the Yadkin has the highest levels of fertilizers-nitrogen and phosphorus-of any major river in the state.  

The huge load of nutrients settles out of the Yadkin when it slows down in High Rock Lake.  In the heat of summer those fertilizers grow huge amounts algae in the lake, endangering water quality.  

NCDEQ sampling in summer of 2016 showed that High Rock Lake is consistently in violation of state standards set to protect water quality.

Yadkin Riverkeeper is the only environmental group at the table for the process to create the "High Rock Rules"-a blueprint for how all upstream stakeholder can reduce the amount of fertilizers-human, industrial, and agriculture-that end up in the Yadkin. 

If you boat or live on High Rock, please reach out to us for more information on this important process. You can email info@YadkinRiverkeeper.org.

High Rock History

Impaired areas of High Rock Lake in North Carolina.

Impaired areas of High Rock Lake in North Carolina.

High Rock Lake has suffered from elevated levels of chlorophyll-a since the 1970s. In 2005, the state legislature passed a law requiring the examination of major drinking water supplies and barring any increase in the amount of pollutants permitted to be discharged into them.  

The Yadkin Riverkeeper serves on the Technical Advisory Council for the High Rock Lake Rules as a voice to protect water quality standards.

 It will take citizen involvement to ensure the DENR process fairly distributes reductions in pollution among various groups-including industry, agriculture and municipalities.  If you want to engage on this issue, email us at info@yadkinriverkeeper.org to learn more.

Facts about the High Rock Lake NMS:

  • High Rock Lake suffers from blooms of cyanobacteria or blue-green algae due to nutrient overload.  

  • The High Rock Lake Stakeholder Process is scheduled to begin in 2015, for a process that was supposed to be completed by 2008.

  • Since 2008, the staff of NC DENR section administering the High Rock NMS has been cut by over 20%