Blue-green algae alert on parts of Lesser Slave Lake

While there is a blue-green algae alert on the MD of Lesser Slave River website, it applies only generally to “areas of Lesser Slave Lake.”


Plus, there are no Alberta Health Services (AHS) Advisories in effect regarding Lesser Slave Lake for any reason.
Recent internet postings on social media say there are AHS advisories in effect for the west end of the lake. One such post says the Town of Slave Lake has an alert for the “High Prairie” end. This is not true. Only the MD of Lesser Slave River has an alert message, and it only has a precaution to be aware Lesser Slave Lake can be affected.


This is current news as of 8:45 AM Friday, August 6, 2021. Warnings previous to this time are in error.


Many lakes around Alberta actually have AHS blue-green algae warnings. Buck Lake. Bonnie Lake. Sturgeon Lake. Bear Lake. Elinor Lake. Lac La Nonne. Lac La Biche and many, many more. Hot, sunny weather at this time of year creates ideal growing conditions, causing the algae to “bloom.” This can be harmful to any animal or person which drinks this water. Boiling does not remove toxins formed from particular species of the algae.


In severe cases, with calm weather like Alberta is experiencing now, algae floats to the water surface where it accumulates. With no wave activity, the algae can clump and dry, forming a thin crust on top of the water that if severe enough, sometimes can support the weight of a bird. This crust is toxic to small animals and birds. Humans in contact with this algae can get rashes if it isn’t washed off.


Blue green algae has not been a concern on Lesser Slave Lake for many years, even though each year many Alberta lakes experience issues. However, this summer conditions are ideal for growth everywhere.

Source: Lakeside Leader files

Related news: AHS Health Advisory- Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) bloom advisory issued for Lesser Slave Lake

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