Panhandle Health District (PHD) and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) have issued a health advisory for Black Lake, near Medimont, due to the presence of blue-green algae. This is the fourth Kootenai County lake impacted by blue-green algae in 2015. The health advisory for Fernan Lake is still active at this time. Blue-green algae can produce potentially dangerous toxins. People recreating near Black Lake are advised to avoid swallowing or inhaling water and to avoid direct contact with visible algae. Drinking water from the lake is especially dangerous and the toxins cannot be removed by boiling or filtering the water. Children and pets are particularly susceptible to illness related to blue-green algae. If people choose to eat fish from the lake, it is recommended that they remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking since toxins are more likely to collect in those tissues.
D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.