Three Nebraska lakes have been placed under health alerts for blue-green algae.
State officials say Big Indian Creek Lake in Gage County, Swan Creek Lake #5A, (also known as Willard Meyer Recreational Area) in Saline County, and Iron Horse Trail Lake in Pawnee County are under health alerts.
Samples taken at Big Indian Creek Lake and Swan Creek Lake 5A 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.) Readings taken at Iron Horse Trail Lake dropped significantly since the state placed it under a health alert, but all lakes must pass two consecutive weeks of readings below the official threshold for the alert to be lifted.
Signs have been posted at the lakes to warn the public. Swimming beaches have been closed.
Recreational boating as well as fishing are permitted. The state advises to avoid full immersion in the water during the alert. Public areas for camping, picnics, and other outdoor activities remain open.
The state takes samples from 50 public lakes weekly throughout the summer vacation season.
Sampling results for toxic algae and bacteria will be updated every Friday. Click here for results at the NDEQ’s web site.
(For more information about potential health effects of toxic blue-green algae, what to look for, and steps to avoid exposure, please refer to this Fact Sheet.)