Algae blooms affect lakes statewide – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Algae blooms affect lakes statewide

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment, in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, has issued public health advisories for Kansas lakes, including two in Osage County.

Warnings include:

  • Big Eleven Lake, Wyandotte County (unchanged)
  • Jerry Ivey Pond, Saline County (unchanged)
  • Marion County Lake, Marion County (unchanged)
  • Gathering Pond near Milford (Hatchery Supply Pond), Geary County (unchanged)
  • South Lake, Johnson County (unchanged)
  • Lebo Kids’ Pond, Coffee County (unchanged))
  • Westlake in Gage Park, Shawnee County (upgrade from 7/25)
  • Melvern Outlet Pond, Osage County (new)
  • Melvern Swim Pond, Osage County (new)

When a warning is issued, KDHE recommends the following precautions:

  • Lake water is not safe to drink for pets or livestock.
  • Lake water, regardless of blue-green algae status, should never be consumed by humans.
  • Water contact should be avoided.
  • Fish may be eaten if they are rinsed with clean water and only the fillet portion is consumed, while all other parts are discarded.
  • Do not allow pets to eat dried algae.
  • If lake water contacts skin, wash with clean water as soon as possible.
  • Avoid areas of visible algae accumulation.

Current algae bloom watches include:

  • Lake Shawnee, Shawnee County (unchanged)
  • Marion Reservoir, Marion County (unchanged)
  • Keith Sebelius Reservoir, Norton County (unchanged)
  • Rock Garden Pond (Gage Park), Shawnee County (unchanged)
  • Hiawatha City Lake, Brown County (unchanged)
  • Lovewell Reservoir, Jewell County (unchanged)
  • Lake Afton, Sedgwick County (unchanged)
  • Hodgeman County State Fishing Lake, Hodgemen County (unchanged)
  • Camp Hawk Lake, Harvey County (new)
  • Carousel Lake (Gage Park), Shawnee County (new)

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, note:

  • Signage will be posted at all public access locations.
  • Water may be unsafe for humans or animals.
  • Avoid areas of algae accumulation and do not let people/pets eat dried algae or drink contaminated water.
  • 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.

KDHE samples publicly-accessible bodies of water for blue-green algae when the agency receives reports of potential algae blooms in Kansas lakes. Based on sampling results, KDHE reports on potentially harmful conditions.

Kansans should be aware that blooms are unpredictable. They can develop rapidly and may float around a 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. 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.

For information on blue-green algae and reporting potential harmful algal blooms, please visit

Information thanks to KDHE.

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