Oct 30, 2020 2:58 PM

Milford remains under blue-green algae watch; last advisory of season

Posted Oct 30, 2020 2:58 PM

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), in conjunction with the Kansas

Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), has issued public health advisories for Kansas lakes. Six lakes remain on watch status as the recreational season concludes October 31. No new advisories are being issued.

Those lakes on Watch status include:

Milford Lake Zone A, Clay/Geary Counties

Milford Lake Zone B, Clay/Geary Counties

Milford Lake Zone C, Clay/Geary Counties

Hain State Fishing Lake, Ford County

Horsethief Reservoir, Hodgeman County

Rose’s Pond, Johnson County

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 contaminatedwater.

●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.

Monitoring for algal blooms is concurrent with the water recreation season, which lasts April 1 – Oct. 31. For those advisories that are still active following today, KDHE relies on lake managers to monitor changing conditions.

While KDHE and KDWPT will not be issuing public health advisories for algal blooms again until April 2021, the public is encouraged to stay informed and aware of algal blooms. 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.

Exposure to harmful algal blooms, whether through contact or ingestion, can cause illness and even death in animals as well as humans. Do not allow livestock, pets, or working animals such as hunting dogs to drink from HAB-affected waters, eat dried scum on shorelines, or lick their fur after exposure. If a person or animal becomes ill after suspected exposure to an algal bloom, consult medical or veterinary care providers immediately and report the event to 877-427-7317, [email protected] or online.  The Epidemiology Hotline is active year-round.

For information on blue-green algae and reporting potential harmful algal blooms, please visit www.kdheks.gov/algae-illness/index.htm; the Agency Response Plan for Harmful Algal Blooms can be viewed here, along with other resources.