Blue-green algae found in Lesser Slave Lake

A blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) bloom was identified n areas of Lesser Slave east of High Prairie, says an Alberta Health Services news release Aug. 25.
Residents living near the shores of Lesser Slave Lake and visitors to the lake are advised to take precautionary steps.

  • Avoid all contact with blue-green algae bloom. If contact occurs, wash with tap water as soon as possible.
  • Do not swim or wade (or allow pets to swim or wade) in any areas where blue-green algae is visible.
  • Do not feed whole fish or fish trimmings from the lake to pets.
  • Consider limiting human consumption of whole fish and fish trimmings from the lake as it is known that fish may store toxins in their liver.
    People should note that areas of Lesser Slave Lake in which the blue-green algae bloom is NOT visible can still be used for recreational purposes, even while the blue-green algae advisory is in place.
    As always, all visitors and residents are reminded to never drink or cook with untreated water directly from any recreational body of water, including Lesser Slave Lake, at any time.
    Boiling of the water will not remove the toxins produced by blue-green algae.
    An alternative resource 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, brown, and/or pinkish-red, and often smell musty or grassy.
    People who come into 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 and resolve in one to two days.
    Symptoms in children are often more pronounced.
    However, all people are at risk of these symptoms.
    Weather and wind conditions can cause algae blooms to move from one location to another.
    As such, the advisory remains in effect until further notice.
    Anyone who suspects a problem related to blue-green algae or requires further information on health concerns and blue-green algae is requested to phone Health Link at 811.
    Further information is online at ahs.ca.bga.

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