August 1, 2014 in City

Blue-green algae advisory issued for Hayden Lake

Staff reports

A health advisory for blue-green algae was issued Friday for the northeastern end of Hayden Lake near the sportsman’s access.

People should avoid swimming in or drinking water from the lake where the algae is visible as surface scum, according to the advisory from the Panhandle Health District and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.

The toxins produced by the algae cannot be removed by filtering the water. They can cause gastroenteritis, skin irritation, allergic responses, liver damage and other health effects, according to the district. Children and pets are particularly susceptible.

People who want to eat fish from the lake should remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking since toxins are more likely to collect in those tissues. The public will be notified when the advisory is lifted.

Blue-green algae are naturally occurring. There are many species that can occur in surface waters and only some species release toxins. Blooms occur in waters with high levels of nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen.

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