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Addressing Concerns About Blue-Green Algae

June 10, 2011: Indiana Reservoir and Lake Update June 10, 2011: Indiana Reservoir and Lake Update

The Indiana State Department of Health cautions Hoosiers of possible high levels of blue-green algae, also known as Cyanobacteria, at many of Indiana's reservoirs and lakes. Swimmers and boaters should be careful in all recreational waters during this time of the year. Precautionary measures include avoiding contact with visible algae and swallowing water while swimming. Take a bath or shower with warm, soapy water after coming in contact with untreated water in ponds and lakes, especially before preparing or consuming food. Pets and livestock should also not be allowed to swim in or drink untreated water from these sources. Exposure to a blue-green algae during recreational activities such as swimming, wading, and water-skiing may lead to rashes, skin, eye irritation, and other uncomfortable effects such as nausea, stomach aches, and tingling in fingers and toes. If you should experience any symptoms after water recreational activities, please contact your doctor.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management will begin cyanobacteria sampling the week of June 20th. The swimming beaches at the following DNR and US Fish and Wildlife Service managed areas will be sampled monthly, unless cell counts exceed 100,000, at which point the swimming beaches in exceedance will be resampled on a biweekly basis until the counts fall below 100,000:

  • Potato Creek State Park
  • Pokagon State Park
  • Chain O’Lakes State Park
  • Miami State Recreational Area at Mississinewa Reservoir
  • Lost Bridge West State Recreational Area at Salamonie Reservoir
  • Raccoon State Recreational Area at Cecil M. Hardin Reservoir (Raccoon Lake)
  • Paynetown State Recreational Area on Monroe Reservoir
  • Fairfax State Recreational Area on Monroe Reservoir
  • Hardin Ridge U.S. Fish and Wildlife Recreational Area on Monroe Reservoir
  • Hardy Lake State Park
  • Whitewater Memorial State Park (Whitewater Lake)
  • Summit Lake State Park

These are the most recent cyanobacterial cell counts. For protection of human health, the World Health Organization uses a guideline level of greater than 100,000 cells/ml for a high risk health alert in recreational waters. For more information on Blue-Green algae, please contact the Indiana Blue-Green Algae Information Line at (877) 650-0033 (Toll Free) or (317) 233-7181.

At this time, sampling done by the Center for Earth and Environmental Science (CEES) at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) reports the following:

  • Eagle Creek Reservoir: Total cyanobacterial cell counts were above 100,000 cells/ml on 06/06/2011
  • Geist Reservoir: Total cyanobacterial cell counts were below 100,000 cells/ml on 06/06/2011

At this time, sampling done by the DNR reports the following:

  • Diamond Lake in southern Kosciusko County: Total cyanobacterial cell counts were above 100,000 cells/ml on 05/25/2011