10 Warnings for Toxic Algae, 12 Watches

The pond at Salina’s Jerry Ivey Park is among 10 bodies of water in Kansas now under a public health warning. Additionally, another 12 are under a watch.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism has issued public health advisories for four Kansas lakes and ponds  due to toxic blue-green algae.


  • Atchison County State Fishing Lake, Atchison County (new)
  • Brown State Fishing Lake, Brown County (new)
  • Herington Reservoir (New City Lake), Dickinson County
  • Gathering Pond at Milford, Geary County (new)
  • Milford Lake Zone C, Geary County (upgrade 7/1)
  • Marion Reservoir, Marion County
  • Agra City Lake, Phillips County (new)
  • Webster Reservoir, Rooks County
  • Jerry Ivey Pond, Saline County
  • Big Eleven Lake, Wyandotte County


  • Mission Lake Horton, Brown County (new)
  • Herington City Lake (Old Lake), Dickinson County
  • Milford Lake Zones A and B, Geary County (new)
  • Horsethief Reservoir, Hodgeman County (new)
  • Perry Zone C, Jefferson County (new)
  • South Lake, Johnson County
  • Big Hill Lake, Labette County
  • Marion County Lake, Marion County
  • Melvern Outlet Pond, Osage County
  • Overbook City Lake, Osage County (new)
  • Pomona Reservoir, Osage County (new)
  • Atwood Township Lake, Rawlins County

When a warning is issued, KDHE recommends the following precautions be taken:

  • Lake water is not safe to drink for pets or livestock.
  • Lake water, regardless of blue-green algae status, should never be consumed by humans.
  • Water contact should be avoided.
  • Fish may be eaten if they are rinsed with clean water and only the fillet portion is consumed, while all other parts are discarded.
  • Do not allow pets to eat dried algae.
  • If lake water contacts skin, wash with clean water as soon as possible.
  • Avoid areas of visible algae accumulation.

A watch means that blue-green algae have been detected and a harmful algal bloom is present or likely to develop. People are encouraged to avoid areas of algae accumulation and keep pets and livestock away from the water. During the watch status, KDHE recommends the following precautions be taken:

  • Signage will be posted at all public access locations.
  • Water may be unsafe for humans/animals.
  • Avoid areas of algae accumulation and do not let people/pets eat dried algae or drink contaminated water.
  • Swimming, wading, skiing and jet skiing are discouraged near visible blooms.
  • Boating and fishing are safe. However, inhalation of the spray may affect some individuals. Avoid direct contact with water, and wash with clean water after any contact.
  • Clean fish well with potable water and eat fillet portion only.

KDHE investigates publicly-accessible bodies of water for blue-green algae when the agency receives reports of potential algae blooms in Kansas lakes. Based on credible field observation and sampling results, KDHE reports on potentially harmful conditions.

Additionally, Kansans are urged to be aware that with the recent rains, lakes are at an increased risk to develop algal blooms. This Memorial Day weekend, KDHE urges individuals who may be on Kansas lakes to understand that blooms are unpredictable and may develop rapidly.

Signs of a possible bloom include 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.