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8 Warnings, 11 Watches For Toxic Algae

Todd PittengerJuly 24, 2020

If you will be spending time over the weekend at a Kansas lake, officials caution to be aware of the eight warnings and eleven watches due to toxic blue-green algae.

The following health advisories have been issued:

  • Warning:Brown State Fishing Lake, Brown County (upgraded from watch)
  • Milford Lake Zone C, Geary County
  • South Lake, Johnson County (new)
  • Wilderness Lake, Johnson County (new)
  • Peter Pan Pond, Lyon County
  • Marion County Lake, Marion County
  • Marion Reservoir, Marion County (upgraded from watch)
  • Cheney Reservoir, Reno/Kingman/Sedgwick Counties


  • Mission Lake, Brown County
  • Ford State Fishing Lake, Ford County
  • Gathering Pond, Geary County
  • Milford Lake Zone A, Zone B, Geary County
  • Elkhorn Lake, Jackson County
  • Tomahawk Park Lakes (all three), Johnson County (new)
  • Unit G Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Area, Linn County
  • Melvern Outlet Pond, Osage County
  • Overbrook City Lake, Osage County
  • Webster Reservoir, Rooks County
  • Rock Garden Pond, Shawnee County

When a warning is issued, state health officials 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.
  • Protect and Improve the Health and Environment of all Kansans
  • 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.

The state 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, reports are compiled on potentially harmful conditions.

Kansans should be aware that blooms are unpredictable. They can develop rapidly and may float 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 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.

Copyright © Meridian Media, 2022. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Meridian Media’s express consent.





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