KDHE Alerts: Blue-Green Algae Hits Four More Kansas Lakes!

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — As temperatures rise, Kansas lakes are becoming more appealing for recreation, but caution is advised at some locations. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) releases a blue-green algae advisory every Friday, and this week, four lakes have been added to the advisory list.

The advisories categorize lakes into three levels of caution: hazard, warning, and watch. This week, all the advised lakes fall under either the warning or watch category.

Lakes under blue-green algae warning advisory:

  • Atchison County State Fishing Lake, Atchison County (Added May 17)
  • Harvey County East Lake, Harvey County
  • Marion County Lake, Marion County (Added May 17)
  • Marion Lake (Reservoir), Marion County (Added May 17)

Lakes under blue-green algae watch advisory:

  • Lake Shawnee, Shawnee County
  • Lovewell Lake, Jewell County (Added May 17)

Precautions for Warning Status:

  • Signage should be posted at all public access locations.
  • Avoid inhalation of spray or aerosols.
  • Lake water is unsafe to drink for pets or livestock.
  • Avoid contact with the waterbody.
  • Fish may be eaten if rinsed with clean water and only the fillet portion is consumed.
  • Do not allow pets to eat dried algae.
  • Wash skin with clean water if it contacts lake water.
  • Avoid areas of visible algae accumulation.

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Precautions for Watch Status:

  • Signage should be posted at all public access locations.
  • Water may be unsafe for humans and animals.
  • Avoid areas of algae accumulation.
  • Swimming, wading, skiing, and jet skiing are discouraged near visible blooms.
  • Boating and fishing are safe, but avoid inhaling spray and wash with clean water after contact.
  • Clean fish well with potable water and eat fillet portions only.

A hazard status indicates extreme conditions where an entire lake or zone may be closed to the public, and sometimes the adjacent land as well.

KDHE investigates publicly accessible bodies of water for blue-green algae when potential blooms are reported. Observations of scum or paint-like surfaces on the water, small floating blue-green clumps, or opaque green water should prompt avoiding contact and keeping pets away. Pet owners should be aware that exposure to affected water can cause serious illness or death in animals.

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