October 23, 2014

One lake added, one dropped, a third remains on state Health Alert

A state health alert continues for one Nebraska lake, begins for another, and ends for a third.

State officials have issued a health alert for toxic blue-green algae for Big Indian Creek Lake in Gage County. An alert issued earlier for Kirkman’s Cove in Richardson County remains in effect. An alert for Swan Creek Lake #5A at Willard L. Meyer Recreation Area in Saline County has ended.

The state has been examining samples from 49 public lakes in Nebraska since May.

Samples from Big Indian Creek Lake and Kirkman’s Cove registered above the state’s health alert threshold of 20 parts per billion (ppb) of total microcystin (a toxin released by certain strains of blue-green algae.) Kirkman’s Cove has been on an alert for about a month. Lakes must pass two consecutive weeks of readings to be taken off of alert as in the case of Swan Creek.

Signs have been posted at Big Indian Creek and Kirkman’s Cove to alert the public.

Under a health alert, swimming beaches are closed. Recreational boating and fishing are permitted. The public is advised against full immersion in the water and advised not to ingest the water. The public can still use the areas for camping, picnics and other outdoor activities.

The lakes will continue to be monitored each week throughout the recreational season. Sampling results for toxic algae and bacteria will be updated every Friday and posted on NDEQ’s web site, [click link here].

PDF Toxic algae fact sheet