MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County Health Officials are advising the public to be cautious when heading out on Chautauqua Lake.
On Friday, the Chautauqua County Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) sent out a media release telling residents and visitors to avoid going into the lake when algae is present.
According to health officials, lake users should be aware that algal bloom conditions can change rapidly. They add that Blue-green algal blooms can be a problem because they can release a toxin, which at high levels is harmful to human and animal health if ingested.
Blue-green algae is actually a type of cyanobacteria that can form thick mats on the water surface resembling paint, and ranges in color from gray to various shades of yellow, green, blue, or brown.
Not all algal blooms are hazardous, but DHHS recommends taking precautions, including….
- Avoid or limit exposure to water where these algal blooms are occurring. This especially includes swimming and other contact recreation where the water could be accidentally swallowed.
- Do not allow young children or pets to play in water where an algal bloom is present.
- Wash your hands and body thoroughly if exposed to algae and any time after swimming or recreating in the lake.
- Do not enter the water if you have open cuts or sores.
- If pets enter the water containing blue-green algae, wash them immediately and don’t let them lick their fur.
For more information about blue-green algae visit the county health department’s website or call (716) 753-4489.