A recreational health advisory has been reissued for Detroit Lake.
The advisory was first issued due to the presence of blue-green algae May 23. On June 8, the Oregon Health Authority lifted that advisory, but the agency put it back in place Wednesday.
Water monitoring confirmed the presence of harmful algae above OHA recreational guidelines for cyanotoxins.
People should avoid swimming, water skiing or power boating in areas of the lake where blooms are identified.
People should also avoid areas with visible scum that looks foamy, thick like paint, pea-green, blue-green or brownish-red, or where small bright-green clumps are floating in the water.
Although toxins are not absorbed through the skin, people who have skin sensitivities may experience a puffy red rash in the affected areas.
This advisory is now in place at the same time as the city of Salem’s drinking water advisory for vulnerable people. That advisory was first issued May 29, lifted June 2 and reissued June 6.
Last weekend, city officials announced the drinking water advisory would remain in place for at least two more weeks.
Detroit Lake is the source of the drinking water in Salem.
Health officials warn that exposure to toxins can produce a variety of symptoms in people and animals. Campers at Detroit Lake are also reminded that the toxins cannot be removed by boiling, filtering or treating water with camping-style filters.
“With proper precautions to avoid activities during which water can be ingested, people are encouraged to visit Detroit Lake and enjoy activities such as canoeing, fishing, camping, hiking, biking, picnicking, and bird watching. Boating is safe as long as speeds do not create excessive water spray. Although inhalation risk is much lower than ingestion, it can present a risk,” according to OHA.
Oregon health officials recommend those who choose to eat fish from waters where algae blooms are present remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking, as toxins are more likely to collect in those tissues. Fillets should also be rinsed with clean water.
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