A blue-green algae bloom has been identified in areas of Winagami Lake located between High Prairie and McLennan.
Visitors to the lake and residents living near the shores are advised to take several precautions, says an Alberta Health Services news release.
People are advised to:
- -Avoid all contact with blue-green algae blooms. If contact occurs, wash with tap water as soon as possible.
- -Not swim or wade, or allow your pets to swim or wade in any areas where blue-green algae is visible.
- -Not feed whole fish or fish trimmings from this lake to pets.
- -Consider limiting human consumption of whole fish and fish trimmings from this lake, as it is known that fish may store toxins in their liver.
People can safely consume fish fillets from the lake.
As always, visitors and residents are reminded to never drink or cook with untreated water directly from any recreational body of water, including Winagami Lake, at any time.
Boiling of this water will not remove the toxins produced by blue-green algae.
An alternate source of drinking water should also be provided for pets and livestock, while the advisory is active.
Blue-green algae is naturally occurring, and often becomes visible when weather conditions are calm.
Appearing like scum, grass clippings, fuzz or globs on the surface of water, blue-green algae can be blue-green, greenish-brown, brown, and/or pinkish-red, and often smell musty or grassy.
People who come in contact with visible blue-green algae or who ingest water containing blue-green algae may experience skin irritation, rash, sore throat, sore red eyes, swollen lips, fever, nausea and vomiting and/or diarrhea.
Symptoms usually appear within one to three hours.