Five KS lakes under algae warning

TOPEKA, Kan. (KNSS) – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism have issued a public health warning for five lakes due to an algal bloom.

The lakes are Keith Sebelius Reservoir in Norton County, Kirwin Lake in Phillips County, Sam’s Pond in Hamilton County, and Marion County Lake and Marion Reservoir in Marion County.

If a lake is under a public health warning for blue-green algae, activities such as boating and fishing may be safe. However, direct contact with water (i.e., wading, skiing and swimming) is strongly discouraged for people, pets and livestock.

Lakes under a warning are not closed. Marinas, lakeside businesses and park camping facilities are open for business. If swim beaches are closed, it will be specifically noted. It is safe to eat fish caught during a harmful blue-green algae outbreak, as long as the fish is rinsed with clean water. Only the fillet portion should be consumed, and all other parts should be discarded. Hands should also be washed with clean water after handling fish taken from an affected lake. 

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.

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