Those looking to spend time at Lake Tschida in the coming days and weeks should be cautious. Blue-green algae has been discovered in the lake, the North Dakota Department of Health said Friday in a statement.
An advisory has been issued for the lake, which means people and animals should avoid the areas of Lake Tschida where blue-green algae blooms are occurring. Signs have been posted by the Bureau of Reclamation to advise swimmers, fishermen, water skiers and others to avoid contact with bloom areas.
It’s the second southwest North Dakota lake to be affected by blue-green algae. The first was Patterson Lake in Dickinson in July.
The production of blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, often happens during hot weather in bodies of water that are used by people, pets and livestock. Blue-green algae discolor the water they live in, and can cause foam, scum or mats to appear on the surface. Blue-green algae can also produce cyanotoxins. When present in water, cyanotoxins are dangerous for both people and animals.
People and animals that swallow water containing cyanotoxins can become sick with severe diarrhea and vomiting; numb lips; tingling fingers and toes; dizziness; or rashes, hives, or skin blisters. Children are at higher risk than adults for illness because their smaller size can allow them to get a relatively larger dose of toxin.
Recreational activities can still be done safely at the lake as long as the bloom areas are avoided. Users are asked to pay attention to the water near them when they are on the lake or its shore because blooms do not stay in one place.