Caution Swimmers of Blue-Green Algal Blooms

When in doubt, best keep out!

What is Blue-Green Algae?IMG_9261 (3)

Blue-green algae, technically known as cyanobacteria or what many people refer to as “pond scum,” are naturally found in waterways in Lincoln County at low levels. When conditions are just right blue-green algae can grow very quickly in number producing a scum layer or mat on the surface of water. Booms typically occur during the warm weather months between mid-June and mid-September. People may be exposed to blue-green algae thought contact with the skin, through inhalation, or by swallowing contaminated water.

Current Lake Conditions

As of the end of June 2015, Tug Lake is experience Blue-Green Algal Blooms.


Exposure to algal blooms may cause you to have the following symptoms: sore throat, congestion, cough, wheezing, difficulty breathing, eye irritation, itchy skin, red skin, hives, earache, headache, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.

How does it affect your pet?

Animals can also become ill from blue-green algal blooms. Animals that have been exposed may show any of the following symptoms: lethargy, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, seizures, weakness and vomiting. To protect pets from algal blooms do not let animals drink lake water during algal blooms. Keep animals out of green water or where you see foam, scum or mats of algae; and rinse animals off immediately if they are exposed to algae- do not let them lick the algae from their fur.

Measures to protect you, family, and animals:

  • Do not swim in water that looks like “pea soup”, green or blue paint or that has a scum layer or puffy blobs floating on the surface.
  • Do not boat, water ski, etc. over such water.
  • Do not let children play with scum layers, even from shore.
  • Shower and wash hands after swimming in lakes, rivers and ponds.
  • Do not fish from lakes where algal scum is present.
  • Do get medical treatment right away if you think you, your pet or livestock might have been poisoned from algal toxins.
  • Do pay attention and respect water body closures and health advisories.


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