State officials have issued a health alert for Branched Oak Lake in Lancaster County just outside Lincoln.
An alert continues at Pawnee Lake, also in Lancaster County.
Alerts have been lifted for Kirkman’s Cove in Richardson County and Iran Horse Trail Lake in Pawnee County.
Water samples taken earlier in the week at Branched Oak 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 at Pawnee dropped significantly. Still, the lake remains under a health alert until it registers below state standards for two consecutive weeks.
Swimming beaches have been closed at Branched Oak and Pawnee. Signs have been posted warning of the health alert. Boating and fishing are permitted. The public is being advised to avoid getting in the water. Also, pets should not be allowed in the lakes or allowed to drink water from the lakes. Camping, picnics, and other outdoor activities are unaffected.
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.)