Boaters: Beware of algal blooms in Lassen County waterbodies

California officials have updated an online interactive map with information about waterways and waterbodies that have advisories due to harmful algal blooms. To see the map, go to mywaterquality.ca.gov/habs/where/freshwater_events.html

Water boards, aided by partner organizations, gathered water samples at many popular lakes and streams with a history of harmful algal blooms throughout California as part of an ongoing collaborative effort to share information with the public.

 

Lassen County

Here’s a map showing the state’s efforts to locate harmful algal blooms. Caution advisories have been issued for Eagle Lake (two locations), Mountain Meadows Reservoir and Willow Lake in Lassen County. Map submitted

            Eagle Lake (Christie Day Use North) — Caution advisory. USFS staff conducted monitoring and collected water and scum samples at this location Aug. 31. Lab results are pending. Due to the observation of dense cyanobacteria bloom, caution advisory is recommended until further notice. Advisory recommendations: Stay away from algae and scum in the water. Do not let pets go in the water, drink the water or eat scum on the shore. Keep children away from algae. Do not eat shellfish from this waterbody.

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Eagle Lake (Gallatan near Ronald McDonald House) — Caution advisory. USFS staff conducted monitoring and collected water and scum samples at this location. Lab results are pending. Due to the observation of dense cyanobacteria bloom, caution advisory is recommended until further notice. Advisory recommendations: Stay away from algae and scum in the water. Do not let pets go in the water, drink the water or eat scum on the shore. Keep children away from algae. Do not eat shellfish from this waterbody.

Mountain Meadows Reservoir (near the dam) — Caution advisory. PG&E collected two water samples at the recreation sites near the dam Aug. 26. Lab results are pending. Staff observed patch dense cyanobacteria bloom at sampling sites including floating scum and pea soup color Caution advisory is recommended due to the visible bloom. Advisory recommendations: Stay away from algae and scum in the water. Do not let pets go in the water, drink the water or eat scum on the shore. Keep children away from algae. Do not eat shellfish from this waterbody.

Willow Lake — Caution advisory. USFS staff revisted the lake to collect water samples Aug. 31. Low density bloom observed. Lab testing results are pending. Advisory recommendations: Stay away from algae and scum in the water. Do not let pets go in the water, drink the water or eat scum on the shore. Keep children away from algae. Do not eat shellfish from this waterbody.

The water boards have ramped up testing for the harmful blooms in advance of the Labor Day weekend and posted information about water bodies that have advisories on a harmful algal bloom portal. The portal offers information on which tested waterways offer safe recreation options and which ones require caution.

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The results of targeted sampling for more than 80 lakes and rivers are summarized in an interactive map showing which sites were tested at each waterbody. The map indicates the specific tiered recreational health advisory level – “Caution,” “Warning” or “Danger” — based on cyanotoxin testing results and/or visual indicators confirming presence of a harmful algal bloom. Approximately 75 percent of the lakes and rivers are associated with a recommended advisory. More information can be accessed at a frequently asked questions page on the portal.

Harmful algal blooms can be identified, typically, by their green, streaky appearance in water, but sometimes can appear as other colors. The blooms contain cyanotoxins that can trigger health concerns for people, including irritation to the respiratory system, skin, eye and throat discomfort, vomiting and gastrointestinal distress. Health concerns in animals, particularly dogs, includes vomiting, difficulty breathing, seizures, and sometimes death.  Dogs and children are particularly vulnerable because they are more likely to swallow water when swimming or playing

This is the fourth consecutive year of heightened testing prior to Labor Day. The water boards, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the California Department of Public Health, along with water managers and county and state health officials, are coordinating efforts to investigate reported cases of health impacts linked to freshwater algal blooms.

For more information, email [email protected].

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