AHS issues blue-green algae advisory for Pigeon Lake

Algae floats in Lake Erie at Maumee Bay State Park

Algae floats in Lake Erie at Maumee Bay State Park

Alberta Health Services issued the advisory for Buck Lake on Friday afternoon, after blooms of blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) were discovered in the water. These HABs usually look like an oil film or spilled paint on the water's surface.

People and their pets may experience symptoms such as rashes, hives, skin blisters difficulty breathing, abdominal pain, sore throat or allergic reactions if contact is made through swallowing, breathing or direct skin contact. In ranges in colour from blue green to greenish-brown to pink and red.

If contact does occur, it's best to rinse off with clear water immediately.

Areas where the blooms are not visible can still be used for recreations purposes even while the advisory is in place, AHS said.

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The blooms happen when there there is strong sunshine, and very little wind or rain to mix up the lake waters.

Home and cottage owners who use lake water as a source for drinking water should be aware that most small treatment systems are unable to remove algal toxins.

Lake users should also avoid eating whole fish or fish trimmings from affected lakes - or feeding them to pets - because fish can store toxins from the algae in their livers.

A blue-green algae advisory has been issued for a lake south of Drayton Valley.

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