STANTON & PAWNEE COUNTY, Neb. — A health alert has been issued for lakes in northeast and southeast Nebraska due to toxic blue-green algae.
Iron Horse Trail Lake in Pawnee County and Maskenthine Reservoir in Stanton County had samples taken earlier this week the measure above the threshold of eight parts per billion of total microcystin.
According to the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE), signs are posed to advise the public to use caution when boating and fishing and some swimming beaches are closed.
NDEE said to not allow pets to get into the water or drink from the lake.
People can still use the public areas for camping, picnics and other outdoor activities.
Aspects to watch out for include:
  • Water that has a neon green, pea green, blue-green or reddish-brown color.
  • Water that has a bad odor.
  • Foam, scum or a thick paint-like appearance on the water surface.
  • Green or blue-green streaks on the surface.
  • Areas with algae that look like grass clippings floating in the water.
  • When algal blooms are present at a lake, avoid protected bays and shorelines on the windward side of the lake.
Here are some tips on what you can do, and things to avoid:
  • Be aware of areas with thick clumps of algae and keep animals and children away from the water.
  • Don’t wade or swim in water containing visible algae. Avoid direct contact with algae.
  • Make sure children are supervised at all times when they are near water. Drowning, not exposure to algae, remains the greatest hazard of water recreation.
  • If you do come in contact with the algae, rinse off with fresh water as soon as possible.
  • Don’t boat or water ski through algal blooms.
  • Don’t drink the water, and avoid any situation that could lead to swallowing the water.
For more information on Harmful Algal Blooms, visit NDEE’s website.