Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Rain 35° Rain
News >  Idaho

Toxic algae bloom found in Hayden Lake

From Staff Reports

Drought and heat are taking a toll on water quality in local lakes.

A health advisory was issued today for Hayden Lake after sampling confirmed the presence of a blue-green algae bloom in the lake’s northern end. Honeysuckle Beach, a popular swimming destination, is not affected by the bloom.

Advisories also are in effect for Fernan and Avondale lakes.

“We have the perfect ingredients for all the things that create blue-green algae blooms,” said Thomas Herron, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality’s regional water quality manager.

The low snowpack and early runoff means “we are not flushing the nutrients” out of the lakes, Herron said. Warmer water temperatures and increased sunlight also contribute to conditions that produce the blooms, which are more frequently seen in late summer.

People recreating in the three lakes should be on the lookout for areas where the water is an uncharacteristic green color, or where thick mats are present along the shoreline. Swallowing, inhaling or other contact with water containing the blooms should be avoided, according to the Panhandle Health District.

Toxins produced by the blooms are particularly dangerous to children and pets. Animals exposed to the toxins can undergo a rapid progression of neurological symptoms, including spasms, labored breathing and death.

If people catch fish from areas with algae blooms, the fat, skin and organs should be removed before cooking, health officials said.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.