LAKELAND - A blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) bloom advisory has been issued for Vincent Lake as of July 31, and Fork Lake as of July 30.
Vincent Lake is located in the County of St. Paul, while Fork Lake is located in Lac La Biche County.
A cyanobacteria bloom has been identified in areas of both lakes and visitors to these lakes, as well as residents living near the shores, are being advised to take the following precautions:
- Avoid all contact with blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) blooms. If contact occurs, wash with tap water as soon as possible.
- Do not swim or wade, or allow your pets to swim or wade in any areas where blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) is visible.
- Do not feed whole fish or fish trimmings from this lake to your pets.
- Consider limiting human consumption of whole fish and fish trimmings from this lake, as it is known that fish may store toxins in their liver. (People can safely consume fish fillets from this lake).
"As always, visitors and residents are reminded to never drink or cook with untreated water directly from any recreational body of water, including Vincent Lake, at any time. Boiling of this water will not remove the toxins produced by blue-green algae. An alternate source of drinking water should also be provided for pets and livestock, while this advisory is active," according to Alberta Health Services.
A list of symptoms may occur if people come into contact with blue-green algae, such as skin irritation, rash, sore throat, sore red eyes, swollen lips, fever, nausea and vomiting and/or diarrhea. Symptoms usually appear within one to three hours and resolve in one to two days.
"Exposure to the blue-green algae may be fatal to pets," according to AHS.
Weather and wind conditions can cause algae blooms to move from one location in the lake to another.
Floatingstone Lake and Garner Lake also have active health advisories for blue-green algae that were put in place in late July. Lac Sante also has an advisory that was sent out on July 8. Moose Lake is also listed on the AHS website with a blue-green algae advisory sent out to the public on July 6.