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Three Lakes Under Health Warning Due to Blue-Green Algae
Kansas Ag Connection - 07/21/2017

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), has issued a public health warning for three lakes and a watch for five lakes due to harmful algal blooms.

Zones A and C of Milford Reservoir are under a warning for blue-green algae. Zone B is in watch status. Please see the attached news release for a map of the lake's zones.

If a lake is under a public health warning for blue-green algae, activities such as boating and fishing may be safe. However, direct contact with water (i.e., wading, skiing and swimming) is strongly discouraged for people, pets and livestock. The lakes currently under a watch or warning status are:

- Warning: Marion County Lake, Marion County

- Warning: Milford Reservoir (Zones A and C), Geary, Dickinson and Clay counties

- Warning: Wolf Pond, Barton County

- Watch: Marion Reservoir, Marion County

- Watch: Milford Reservoir (Zone B), Geary, Dickinson and Clay counties

- Watch: Overbrook City Lake, Osage County

- Watch: Sam's Pond, Syracuse, Hamilton County

- Watch: Webster Lake, Rooks County

Lakes under a warning are not closed. Marinas, lakeside businesses and park camping facilities are open for business. If swim beaches are closed, it will be specifically noted. Drinking water and showers at parks are safe and not affected by algae blooms. Boating and fishing are safe on lakes under a warning, but contact with the water should be avoided. It is safe to eat fish caught during a harmful blue-green algae outbreak, as long as the fish is rinsed with clean water. Only the fillet portion should be consumed, and all other parts should be discarded. Hands should also be washed with clean water after handling fish taken from an affected lake. Zoned lakes may have portions fully open for all recreation even if other portions are under a warning.

Kansans should be aware that blooms are unpredictable. They can develop rapidly and may float around the lake, requiring visitors to exercise their best judgment. If there is scum, a paint-like surface or the water is bright green, avoid contact and keep pets away. These are indications that a harmful bloom may be present. Pet owners should be aware that animals that swim in or drink water affected by a harmful algal bloom or eat dried algae along the shore may become seriously ill or die.

For information on blue-green algae and reporting potential harmful algal blooms, please visit www.kdheks.gov/algae-illness/index.htm.

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