Algae warning for 6 Kansas lakes

August 18, 2017 - 4:28 am

TOPEKA, Kan. (KNSS) – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment, in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism, has issued a public health warning for six lakes and a watch for six lakes due to harmful algae blooms.

If a lake is under a public health warning for blue-green algae, activities such as boating and fishing may be safe. However, direct contact with water (i.e., wading, skiing and swimming) is strongly discouraged for people, pets and livestock.

The lakes currently under a warning status are:
Central Park Lake, Shawnee County
Marion County Lake, Marion County
Melvern Outlet River Pond, Osage County
Melvern Outlet Swim Pond, Osage County
Milford Reservoir (Zones B and C), Geary, Dickinson and Clay counties
Webster Lake, Rooks County

Watches are in effect for: 
Milford Reservoir (Zone A), Geary, Dickinson and Clay counties
Overbrook City Lake, Osage County
Perry Lake (Zone C), Jefferson County
Sam’s Pond, Syracuse, Hamilton County
South Lake, Johnson County
Villa High Lake, Thomas County
Lakes under a warning are not closed. Marinas, lakeside businesses and park camping facilities are open for business. If swim beaches are closed, it will be specifically noted. Drinking water and showers at parks are safe and not affected by algae blooms. Boating and fishing are safe on lakes under a warning, but contact with the water should be avoided.

It is safe to eat fish caught during a harmful blue-green algae outbreak, as long as the fish is rinsed with clean water. Only the fillet portion should be consumed, and all other parts should be discarded. Hands should also be washed with clean water after handling fish taken from an affected lake. Zoned lakes may have portions fully open for all recreation even if other portions are under a warning.
Kansans should be aware that blooms are unpredictable. They can develop rapidly and may float around the lake, requiring visitors to exercise their best judgment. If there is scum, a paint-like surface or the water is bright green, avoid contact and keep pets away. These are indications that a harmful bloom may be present. Pet owners should be aware that animals that swim in or drink water affected by a harmful algal bloom or eat dried algae along the shore may become seriously ill or die.

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