National Park Service finds toxic algae in Blue Mesa Reservoir.

Along with extreme low water levels Blue Mesa Reservoir is now dealing with another problem. A dangerous algae bloom has impacted portions of the lake. Fortunately for now, it's only affecting a limited part of the lake

Cyanotoxins are toxins produced by bacteria called cyanobacteria, more commonly know as blue-green algae. This toxin is one of the most powerful natural poisons on earth. The bacteria that create this toxin are found everywhere, but under certain low water and oxygen levels, can explode in growth and create huge blooms. This "slime" contains toxins that can cause skin rashes, hay fever-like symptoms, and can be fatal if ingested.

The bloom was discovered in the Iola Basin section of the lake. National Park Service officials say people should avoid shallow water areas of the lake and keep an eye out for the floating mats of "slime" throughout the reservoir.

Despite the low water, Blue Mesa Reservoir is still open for boating and fishing. If your keeping your catch, be sure and clean your fish in treated water. Also, flush and wash your boats hull, lower unit, and flush out your live-well systems. It's a practice all boaters should already be practicing to prevent the spread of invasive zebra and quagga mussels, but it's also recommend to remove the algae.

Never let dogs and other animals around the infected water. Don't swim or drink any of the reservoir waters until further notice. If you've been to the lake and your pet experiences nausea, vomiting, trouble breathing or seizures, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Credit: KJCT 8News 

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