Update--July 8th, 2011-The Corps also says the algae bloom found in Ft. Gibson lake in Choteau Bend was tested and is not blue-green algae rather a green algae bloom that is not harmful to the public. However, blue-green algae levels were found at the Taylor Ferry swim beach in Ft. Gibson Lake and is at a moderate risk so they are shutting down the beach indefinitely.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports an algae bloom was found in Lake Tenkiller in Cherokee County and are testing the waters. Test results to see if it is harmful blue-green algae will be released next week. The Corps recommends that you be cautious and avoid scummy, mossy or discolored water.
The Corps says the conditions are prime for algae blooms right now in lakes, because of the hot weather, slow moving water and drought like conditions. They are asking anybody who sees a discoloration of water like pea soup or green paint, to call authorities right away.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says they are working to put up signs around the lakes that state, Potential BGA, reported/not confirmed BGA, or confirmed BGA.
The Corps report blue-green algae are naturally present in Tulsa District lakes at low concentrations, however, during hot and dry conditions, nuisance blue-green algae blooms can occur and these blooms can create unwanted risks associated with swimming and wading at recreational areas. A blue-green algae bloom can occur in any lake at any time if the conditions are right.
Visitors are asked to take the following precautions at all Tulsa District lakes:
-Do not drink untreated water.
-Do not swim, water ski, wade, or boat in areas where the water is discolored or where you see foam, scum, or mats of algae on the water.
-If you swim or wade in water that may have blue-green algae present – rinse off with fresh water (and soap if it is available). This is also an effective method of reducing skin exposure for your pets.
-Do not let pets or livestock swim or drink where the water is discolored or where you see foam, scum, or mats of algae on the water.
-Respect all water body and beach closures.
Visitors are asked to report any possible blue-green algae blooms to the local project office or the Oklahoma Dept. of Environmental Quality. If a potential bloom is reported, we will perform water samples to determine if the bloom is harmful. Not all blue-green algae blooms are harmful.
July 7th, 2011--A blue-green algae bloom that’s plagued
"Yeah that water looks a lot greener than it used to, now we know why,” says Mike Daniels of Choteau.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is now testing a number of water samples from Ft. Gibson Lake. A bloom was found in Choteau Bend this week.
The Corps plans to release the results Friday but for now officials are encouraging people to avoid the bloom.
FOX23’s Abbie Alford helps answer some questions many FOX23 News viewers asked on Facebook.
With all of this blue-green algae scare going on, toxic levels found in Grand Lake, which Grand River Dam Authority released those toxic levels are going down, but now The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is testing a BGA bloom found in Ft. Gibson Lake in Choteau Bend and throughout the lake.
Many asked about the dangers of the blooms. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says BGA is found in a lot of lakes and not every bloom is toxic and until they get the test results back they say you can keep boating and swimming but recommend you avoid the bloom. The Corps says blooms may look bright green like pea soup. If you suspect a bloom you are asked to report it to authorities.
Fishing: The Department of Environmental Quality recommends you wear hand protection when cleaning the fish and avoid eating the organs, however you can eat the meat of the fish.
When will the BGA go away?
The DEQ says there is no timeline it all depends on the conditions such as how low the lake is, how hot it is and what nutrients have fallen into the lake, like when it rains.
To read more Oklahoma Lake information click on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District website and Grand River Dam Authority website.
You can also read more on water quality by clicking on Oklahoma’s Department of Environmental Quality’s website.