State officials have placed two more lakes under health alerts, kept two more on the list, while lifting a health alert for one lake.
Health alerts have been issued due to harmful algal blooms, also known as toxic blue-green algae, at Big Indian Lake in Gage County and Willow Creek Reservoir in Pierce County. Alerts have been extended at Rockford Lake in Gage County and Maple Creek Recreation Area Lake in Colfax County.
State officials have lifted the alert for Holmes Lake in Lincoln.
DHHS reports samples taken this week at Big Indian Lake and Willow Creek Reservoir were 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.)
Samples at Rockford Lake and Maple Creek Lake came in under the threshold, but the lakes must pass one more week of testing for the alert to be lifted. Lakes remain under a health alert until they pass two consecutive weeks of testing.
Swimming beaches have been closed at the lakes under health alerts. Signs have been posted to advise the public at the affected lakes.
Recreational boating and fishing are permitted, though the public is advised not to get into the water and not to drink it. Pets also should be kept away from the water. Camping and other outdoor activities remain available.
Weekly sampling has been conducted at 51 public lakes since the beginning of May. The lakes will continue to be monitored weekly throughout the 2018 recreational season. Sampling results for harmful algal blooms and bacteria will be updated every Friday and posted on NDEQ’s web site, deq.ne.gov.