Blue-Green Algae Bloom Confirmed in Grand Lake’s Ketchum Cove, GRDA Says | Local News
From staff reports
A blue-green algae bloom has been confirmed in the Ketchum Cove area of Grand Lake, the Grand River Dam Authority reported Wednesday.
Exposure to blue-green algae can cause skin irritation, including rashes, hives or blisters, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health. Inhaling seaweed can trigger asthma-like conditions or allergic reactions. Additionally, ingesting water can cause stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Water quality testing conducted recently by the GRDA’s Ecosystems and Watershed Management Department confirmed the presence of algae on Grand Lake and, according to a press release on Wednesday, the bloom could be seen extend from near the Hammerhead Marina boat launch to the east. Colony Cove, on the west side of the lake, south of Ketchum.
“GRDA advises the public to use extra precautions in this area of the lake as the situation may change rapidly and the bloom may become concentrated as it is driven by wind and waves,” the press release read.
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Environmental Protection Agency guidelines recommend not coming into contact with water when the concentration of microcystins produced by blue-green algae is greater than eight micrograms per litre, according to the press release. The latest sampling shows toxin levels in this area ranging from 7.1 to over 50 micrograms per liter depending on the location in the cove and the density of the algae.
Blue-green algae can look like thick pea soup, green paint, or bluish, brownish, or reddish-green paint, and when the algae washes up on shore, it can form a thick mat on the beach .
“Although most algal blooms are not toxic, toxins can be produced in some algal blooms dominated by blue-green algae,” said GRDA spokesman Justin Alberty.
“We have communicated these test results to the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation, the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, and the Oklahoma Water Resources Board. At this time, we are closely monitoring the area and will provide regular updates as the situation develops.
The Environmental Quality Branch recommends avoiding contact with water in the event of blue-green algae blooms, keeping pets and livestock away from the water, and immediately contacting the DEQ at 800-522-0206 or the GRDA at 918-256-0911.