A health alert has been issued for the Martin Bay area of Lake McConaughy.
State health officials issued the alert after a sample taken from the bay disclosed toxic blue-green algae above the state health threshold of 20 parts per billion (ppb) of total microcystin, which is a toxin released by certain strains of blue-green algae.
It appears only Martin Bay is affected. Low water levels have cut the bay off from Lake McConaughy. State officials say the alert only applies to Martin Bay, northeast of the lake and not Lake McConaughy itself.
Martin Bay will have to pass at least two more weeks of inspections before the alert is lifted. Lakes on health alerts must pass two consecutive weeks of readings to have the alert removed.
Swimming areas have been closed. Recreational boating and fishing continues to be permitted at Martin Bay. The public is advised not to get into the lake while the alert remains in effect. Outdoor activities, such as camping and picnicking, are not affected.
The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality posts updates on lake samples on its website deq.ne.gov.