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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

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Corps of Engineers Urges Lake Visitors To Watch For Algae Blooms

KANSAS CITY, Mo. –The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District is actively responding to a potentially toxic blue-green algae blooms at several lakes with site-specific sampling and posting public health advisory signs at lakes as recommended by state health agencies.

Beginning in early June, potentially toxic blue-green algae blooms have been observed at Kanopolis Lake, Perry Lake and Milford (Lake) Gathering Pond. Blue-green algae blooms are unpredictable. They can develop rapidly and may float or drift 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 all water contact.

Pet and equestrian owners need to be particularly mindful of the presence of blue-green algae. Dogs are highly susceptible to algae toxins and frequently ingest concentrated toxins from shoreline areas. Pets that contact water affected by a harmful algal bloom or eat dried algae along the shore may become seriously ill or even die.

Drinking water and showers at campgrounds are safe and not affected by blue-green algae blooms. Boating and fishing are safe under current conditions. It is safe to eat fish caught during a harmful blue-green algae outbreak, as long as the fish is rinsed with clean water; consume only the fillet portion and discard all other parts. Hands should also be washed with clean water after handling fish taken from affected water.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will continue to monitor the blue-green algae blooms and will provide updates as conditions warrant as well as toxin test results as conditions change on the lake.

More information on algae bloom, including up-to-date conditions, can be found online at https://www.kdheks.gov/algae-illness/index.htm for Kansas, https://deq-iis.ne.gov/zs/bw/ for Nebraska, https://www.iowadnr.gov/Environmental-Protection/Water-Quality/Water-Monitoring/Beaches for Iowa, https://dnr.mo.gov/env/cyanobacteria.htm and https://www.epa.gov/cyanohabs for Missouri.

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