County lake joins reservoir on algae warning list
A day before the start of the Bluegrass at the Lake music festival, Marion County Lake joined Marion Reservoir on a list of five Kansas lakes under warnings for potentially toxic blue-green algae Thursday.
Neither lake is closed. Docks, campgrounds, and beaches may remain open, and boating and fishing are not necessarily impacted. Typically, beaches are closed when there are algae warnings, but Thursday's announcement from the state said closure was not automatic. Contacted after the warning, county lake workers were uncertain what their response would be because they had not yet received official notice.
Visitors are being warned to avoid contact with contaminated water and to eat only the filet portion of fish caught and only after first rinsing the fish in clean water.
Two weeks ago, Marion Reservoir was closed by a more serious outbreak of blue-green algae, technically known as cyanobacteria.
Some species of cyanobacertia release potentially fatal neurotoxins, but others release toxins that cause only minor skin irritation. Exactly which species might be involved in an outbreak is not immediately known.
Marion Reservoir was upgraded from closed to warning status last week. This is the first week for Marion County Lake to make the list this summer.
Other Kansas lakes subject to warnings for the next seven days are Sebelius Reservoir in Norton County, Kirwin Lake in Phillips County, and Sam’s Pond in Hamilton County. A less serious watch is in effect for Webster Lake in Rooks County.
Blue-green algae closures, warnings, and watches are updated late each Thursday afternoon by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.