Two Nebraska lakes have been placed under health alerts for blue-green algae.
State officials say Iron Horse Trail Lake in Pawnee County and Willow Creek Lake in Pierce County are under health alerts.
Samples taken at Iron Horse Trail Lake and Willow Creek Lake 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).
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.
Alerts continue for Pawnee Lake and Branched Oak Lake in Lancaster County. Lakes that are on health alert must have two consecutive weeks of readings below the threshold before the alert is discontinued.
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.)