Corps of Engineers issue warning about algal blooms at Green River Lake

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Boaters and swimmers at Green River Lake are urged to avoid contact with a blue-green algae that can produce toxins that can be particularly harmful to small children, people with illnesses and animals.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued the warning. At this time, Green River Lake remains open for swimming and boating, but the algal cell count is a the cautionary level, based on World Health Organization guidelines.

Sunlight, warm weather, low turbulence and nuitrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen contribute to algal growth, according to the Corps of Engineers.

Anyone using the lake is encouraged to take the following precautionary steps:

- Avoid contact with visible algae and do not swallow water while swimming

- Take a bath with warm, soapy water after coming in contact with waer in ponds or lakes, especially before preparing or consuming food.

- Animals should not be allowed to swim in or drink water from untreated sources. Animals can be poisoned by the toxins in some algal bloom, and smal animal can quickly ingest a toxic dose. 

Dogs are particularly susceptible to blue-green algae poisoning since the scum can attrach to their coats and later be swallowed during self-cleaning.

- Remove fish skin and organs before cooking, and do not consume or allow animals to consume the organs or skin.

An animal that has been poisoned by show signs including vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, weakness, and seizures. In extreme cases, sudden death may occur, espcially with livestock.

The Corps of Engineers will continue to work with the Kentucky Department of Water, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Kentucky Department of Public Health and the Kentucky Department of Parks to monitor water quality and provide information to the public. 

These agencies also will monitor potential bloom sites at the lake, post advisories at the lake ("advisory" for potential health effects and "caution" for more significant risks), and keep boaters, swimmers and others using the lake for recreation informed of the risks.

To keep up with information about Green River Lake, visit the US Army Corps of Engineers, Green River Lake on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Green-River-Lake-US-Army-Corps-of-Enginee....

For questions, call the Corps of Engineers at Green River Lake at (270) 465-4463.

For more information about algal blooms and updates at Corps lakes visit http://www.lrl.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/WaterInformation/HABs.....