Gloeotrichia echinulata is a bloom-forming cyanobacterium that is common in eutrophic lakes, and less prevalent but increasing in oligotrophic lakes. We used an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay analysis to test for the presence of the hepatotoxin microcystin-LR (MC-LR) in G. echinulata collected from an oligotrophic lake in central New Hampshire, USA. We found that G. echinulata contained MC-LR at mean concentrations of 97.07 +/- 7.78 (1 s.e.) ng MC-LR g(-1) dry wt colonies. This suggests that recent outbreaks of G. echinulata in oligotrophic lakes used as water sources throughout New England (USA) may pose a health concern. The toxicity of G. echinulata reported here suggests the need for future monitoring of microcystins in oligotrophic lakes.