Health warning: algae blooms on MI lakes


Alberta Health Services issued the advisory for Buck Lake on Friday afternoon, after blooms of blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) were discovered in the water.

The algae is unsafe for both humans and pets and can cause skin irritation, sore eyes and throat, fever, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea within hours of contact. Swim beaches will be open from 11 6 p.m. Saturday at both the Lake Temescal and Quarry Lakes regional recreation areas.

"Though blue-green algae are naturally present in lakes and streams in low numbers, they can become abundant, forming blooms in shades of green, blue-green, yellow, brown or red", the advisory said.

If contact does occur, it's best to rinse off with clear water immediately.

AHS stresses that areas where the blooms are not visible can still be used for recreational purposes.

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The lack of wind coupled with strong sun and very little run off of fresh rain has not allowed much mixing of the lake waters.

"We are thrilled to reopen the lakes even though it is not as soon as we would have liked", said David Mason, a park district spokesman.

When the blooming algae contain toxins it is known as a harmful algal bloom, or HAB.

The algae advisory is in effect for Pigeon Lake until further notice, the release said.