9 Kansas lakes under warning or watch due to blue-green algae


The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), has issued public health warnings for some Kansas lakes for the upcoming weekend and week.

If a lake is under a public health warning for blue-green algae, activities such as boating and fishing may be safe. However, direct contact with water (i.e., wading, skiing and swimming) is strongly discouraged for people, pets and livestock. The lakes currently under a public health advisory:

  • Warning: Big Eleven Lake, Wyandotte County
  • Warning: Jerry Ivey Pond, Saline County
  • Warning: Keith Sebelius Reservoir, Norton County
  • Warning: Marion Reservoir, Marion County
  • Warning: Gathering Pond near Milford (Hatchery Supply Pond), Geary County
  • Warning: Webster Lake (Webster Reservoir), Rooks County
  • Watch: Lake Shawnee, Shawnee County
  • Watch: Marion County Lake, Marion County
  • Watch: Strowbridge (Carbondale East), Osage County

The following have had their watch or warning lifted:

  • Overbrook City Lake, Osage County

A closed or closure status indicates that conditions are extremely dangerous for humans and pets.  Harmful algal toxins and cell counts are at dangerously high levels.  Any kind of contact with the waterbody is prohibited.

Lakes under a warning are not closed. Marinas, lakeside businesses and park camping facilities are open for business. If swim beaches are closed, it will be specifically noted. Drinking water and showers at parks are safe and not affected by algae blooms. Boating and fishing are safe on lakes under a warning but contact with the water should be avoided. Hands should also be washed with clean water after handling fish taken from an affected lake. Zoned lakes may have portions fully open for all recreation even if other portions are under a warning.

Kansans should be aware that blooms are unpredictable. They can develop rapidly and may float around the lake, requiring visitors to exercise their best judgment. If there is scum, a paint-like surface or the water is bright green, avoid contact and keep pets away. These are indications that a harmful bloom may be present. Pet owners should be aware that animals that swim in or drink water affected by a harmful algal bloom or eat dried algae along the shore may become seriously ill or die.

Please note that due to the upcoming holiday week, the advisories listed above will remain in effect until July 11.

For information on blue-green algae and reporting potential harmful algal blooms, please click here.

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