Algae warning hits Lost Creek Lake, again

State public-health officials today reissued a voluntary advisory warning people and pets against contact with Lost Creek Lake water after tests showed an outbreak of blue-green algae soaring to levels considered unhealthy.

Today's advisory marks the second time the lake has fallen under a public-health warning this year and the fourth straight September in which Jackson County's largest reservoir has been hit with an algae bloom.

Water sampled Monday showed levels of aphanizomenon at more than 25 times the level deemed to be safe for exposure, public-health officials say.

Aphanizomenon technically is a bacteria and one of three forms of so-called blue-green algae that plague Oregon lakes in summer and fall. They can produce toxins that can be harmful to people or pets.

The lake, which feeds the Rogue River, had a similar advisory beginning in June that lasted three weeks.

Officials started posting warning signs at lake boat ramps and swimming areas to inform lake users of the advisory.

Under the state public-health guidelines, visitors are advised not to ingest lake water.

Anglers are encouraged to practice catch-and-release fishing.

People who eat fish from algae-tainted waters should remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking because toxins can collect there. People should not eat crayfish or freshwater shellfish taken from infested lakes during an advisory.

— Mark Freeman

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