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Lakeland hit with blue-green algae blooms

Four water bodies in the Lakeland have been placed under blue-green algae advisories.

Laurier Lake, Stoney Lake, Garner Lake, Lac La Biche Lake, Skeleton Lake, and Baptiste Lake have all been flagged for watch by Alberta Health Services as there have been blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) blooms identified.

People living near the lakes or coming to visit are asked to take the following precautions:

  • Avoid all contact with blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) blooms. If contact occurs, wash with tap water as soon as possible.
  • Do not swim or wade (or allow your pets to swim or wade) in any areas where blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) is visible.
  • Do not feedwhole fish or fish trimmings from this lake to your pets.
  • Consider limiting human consumption of whole fish and fish trimmings from this lake, as it is known that fish may store toxins in their liver. (People can safely consume fish fillets from this lake).

AHS says 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 the water, blue-green algae can be blue-green, greenish-brown, brown, and/or pinkish-red, and often smell musty or grassy.

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People are asked to not consume or cook with untreated water directly from any recreational body of water and AHS says an alternate source of drinking water should also be provided for pets and livestock, while this advisory is active.

Anyone who comes in contact with visible blue-green algae or who ingests water containing blue-green algae may experience skin irritation, rash, sore throat, sore red eyes, swollen lips, fever, nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. AHS says symptoms will appear within one to three hours and last for a couple of days.

AHS says the areas of the Lake where blue-green algae bloom is NOT visible can still be used for recreational purposes even while the blue-green algae Health Advisory is in place.

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