UPDATE: Alberta Health Services has lifted the blue-green algae warning for Bear Lake due to cooler lake and reservoir water temperatures.
People are being asked to be careful around Bear Lake after Alberta Health Services says a blue-green algae bloom was spotted in the water.
Blue-green algae can often be seen when weather conditions are calm. It usually appears like scum, fuzz or globs on the surface of the water and can be blue-green, greenish-brown, brown, or pinkish-red, and often smell musty or grassy.
People who come in contact with the algae or who ingest water containing it may experience things like skin irritation, sore throat, sore red eyes, fever, nausea and vomiting. Symptoms usually appear within one to three hours and go away in one to two days.
Because of that, AHS is asking visitors and people living near the banks of the lake to avoid contact with the algae, not to swim or let pets swim or drink water from areas where it is visible and not to eat or feed whole fish from the lake to people or pets.
Fish fillets from the lake are still safe to eat and areas where algae can’t be seen can still be used for recreation purposes.
Weather and wind conditions can cause algae blooms to move from one location in the lake to another. Because of that, the advisory will remain in effect for Bear Lake until further notice.