Blue-green algae outbreaks have been confirmed in parts of Hayden and Fernan lakes.
The algae, which can produce dangerous toxins, were detected in the east side of Fernan Lake and the northern end of Hayden Lake, near the Sportsman’s Access.
The Panhandle Health District and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality issued health advisories for parts of the lakes Tuesday, encouraging people to use caution when recreating. They should avoid areas where the blooms, which look like blobs of scum or thick green mats, are visible.
Pets, children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems are most at-risk of harmful exposure.
Symptoms can include rashes, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, and wheezing. Drinking the water can harm the liver and nervous system.
If people choose to eat fish from areas where blooms are present, they should remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking, since toxins are more likely to collect in those tissues.
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