28 August 2011

Blue-green algae has been detected at Lake Tabor (Cape Fear) at levels high enough to prompt a public health warning.  Swimming has been prohibited at the public access point on Lynwood Norris Street for the past week. Town officials distributed a written warning to stay out of the water to lakefront property owners.

Water enthusiasts beware: Lake Texoma (Oklahoma) is not safe for swimming. The U.S Army Corps of Engineers updated the blue-green algae matrix Friday and Lake Texoma is on the list. Blue-green algae are bacteria that produce toxins harmful to animals and humans.  Water contact is prohibited. While blue-green algae naturally exist in the lake at low concentrations, hot and dry conditions can cause the algae to bloom and create unfavorable water for swimming and wading. The high level of blue-green algae is considered unsafe for people and pets.

Also in Oklahoma, the Army Corps of Engineers says there are fresh blue green algae blooms at Fort Gibson and Waurika Lakes.

Blue-green algae has invaded Burlington’s North Beach.  Scientists at the University of Vermont say concentrations at the beach have reached low alert levels.  Swimming is still allowed, but according to the Burlington Free Press, people are urged to avoid dense accumulations of algae.

Blue-green algae, also called cyanobacteria, are common in most Ohio lakes but grows thick in water feeding on phosphorus from manure, fertilizers and sewage that rain washes into streams and eventually into lakes.  The algae can produce liver and nerve toxins.

As summer heats up, Oregon health officials are adding more lakes to the list of potential danger spots where toxic blue-green algae have been found.  The state on Thursday said high algae levels have been found in South Tenmile Lake, which is 10 miles north of North Bend. A day earlier, high algae levels were found in Coos County’s Sru Lake, which is 21 miles southeast of Powers. And on Aug. 19, the state issued an algae warning for Dexter Lake near Lowell in Lane County.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment today lifted a public health advisory for blue-green algae at Hillsdale Lake in Miami County. To find out which Kansas lakes have blue-green algae alerts, go to

The Reno County Health Department announced a health warning has been issued for the Dillon Nature Center Lake, east of Hutchinson, because of the presence of a harmful algae bloom Friday.  “The greatest risk of adverse human health effects after exposure to these toxins is through accidental ingestion and inhalation of the affected water during recreational activities such as swimming,” the release said

A toxic algae alert at a Lake Erie beach was upgraded yesterday after tests revealed high levels of a liver toxin in the water.  Swimming and wading now are “not recommended” at Maumee Bay State Park’s beach in Lucas County. The previous warning urged people not to touch blue-green algae scum or swallow lake water while swimming.

The Kelleys Island (Canada) State Park’s public beach includes a posted warning about the algae bloom that has made its way to the island’s north side.  “They are a blue-green algae, and we call them harmful algae blooms because they produce a toxin called microcystin,” said Sonia Joseph-Joshi, outreach coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Center of Excellence for Great Lakes and Human Health.  In Asia and South America, she said, the toxins in blue-green algae have caused deaths after being ingested.

A warning has also been issued for Pelican Lake (Manitoba, CAN).

The algal advisory at Lake Hasse (Alberta) was lifted yesterday. In Washington State (USA) Anderson Lake was also reopened for fishing and boating on Saturday.  The decision to reopen the lake, which was closed June 10 because of algae-produced toxins, was made today after a samples of the lake tested below the warning threshold for three consecutive weeks.

In the UK, people visiting a Herefordshire lake are being warned about a poisonous blue-green algae that has formed in the water.  The naturally occurring “blooms” at Bodenham Lake Nature Reserve release a toxin in to the water as they decompose, the council said.  They can be fatal to humans and animals if enough are ingested, a spokesman said. People are urged to stay out of the water until the algae has subsided.

Briggs Woods Lake Water Quality Improvement Plan: Hamilton County (IA) residents interested in improving the water quality of Briggs Woods Lake in Hamilton County are invited to attend a meeting Tuesday,September 13 to discuss the results of a recent Iowa Department of Natural Resources study. The meeting will be held from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at the Hamilton County Conservation Office at Briggs Woods Park south of Webster City. Briggs Woods Lake is on the state’s  list of impaired waters. High levels of algae and organic enrichment in the lake reduce oxygen available for aquatic life. The current study, or DNR water quality improvement plan, shows too much phosphorus is causing these problems in the lake. Reduced visibility can affect swimmers, boaters and anglers enjoyment of the lake. The plan illustrates the amounts and sources of phosphorus entering the lake. Residents can find potential solutions to reduce phosphorus levels and work toward fixing the problem. The plan provides a guide for local resource agencies, partners, stakeholders and residents to improve the lake.

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