State officials say samples taken earlier this week at Willow Creek Lake registered above the state health alert threshold of 20 parts per billion (ppb) to total microcystin, a toxin released by certain strains of blue-green algae. The alert will stay in place for at least two weeks. Lakes under an alert must pass two consecutive weeks of readings before the alert is lifted.
Swimming beaches have been closed to the public at Willow Creek. Recreational boating and fishing are permitted, but the public is advised against jumping into the water or ingesting any of the lake water.
Public areas for camping, picnicking, and other outdoor activities remain open.
State officials have been monitoring Nebraska’s 50 public lakes all summer. Monitoring continues throughout the vacation season.
Sampling results for toxic algae and bacteria will be updated every Friday and posted on NDEQ’s web site, http://deq.ne.gov.
For more information about potential health effects of toxic blue-green algae, what to look for, and steps to avoid exposure, please refer to the Toxic Algae Fact Sheet.