FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Blue green algae has been in the national spotlight lately after it was the cause of death for dogs in North Carolina, Georgia, and Texas.
The toxins released from a high level of algae are strong enough to seriously harm pets. They can be poisoned or killed if exposed to many of the toxins. Humans are less likely to have a severe reaction to blue-green algae, but may experience rashes, skin irritation, or stomach aches.
Indiana State Parks test their water for algae levels so that swimmers know when it is safe to enter the water. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is in charge of testing the water, then the local parks post a warning level on the beaches for swimmers to see.
“We have boards posted at all of our beaches and boat ramps throughout the state park system and forestry. They have four placards on there that describe the risk. Low risk, advisory, caution, and closed. After they get out of the water, we do have showers at all of our beaches that they can rinse off. That’s the important part, just make sure you don’t drink the water and rinse off after swimming,” said Tyrone Jessup, who is the Assistant Property Manager at Ouabache State Park.
As of Friday, lakes within state parks in our region have an advisory status. This means that it is safe to swim, but those who enter the water should rinse off immediately after swimming.
There are many algae resources available from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management on their website.