Agencies in Nebraska have issued a health alert for harmful algal blooms after high levels of the toxin was found at Maple Creek Recreation Area lake in Colfax County.
The alert has been issued jointly from the Department of Health and Human Services – Division of Public Health, the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
A press release states that samples taken earlier this week at Maple Creek and Kirkman’s Cove in Richardson County showed the amount of total microcystin to be above the health alert threshold, the threshold being 8 parts-per-billion.
Microcystin is a toxin released by certain strains of blue-green algae.
Signs are posted to advise the public to use caution. Designated swimming beaches are closed during the alert.
“Recreational boating and fishing are permitted, but the public is advised to use caution and avoid exposure to the water, particularly avoiding any activity that could lead to swallowing the water,” the release states. “Do not let pets get in the water or drink from the lake. People can still use the public areas for camping, picnics and other outdoor activities.”
The lakes will continued to be monitored weekly through the end of September.
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