Health authorities are warning people in southern Alberta that a blue-green algae bloom has been found at Clear Lake, east of Stavely, Alta.
Alberta Health Services (AHS) issued an advisory for the area on Tuesday and said residents and visitors to the area should avoid all contact with algae blooms. This includes swimming and wading in areas where the blooms are visible.
AHS said Tuesday that pets should be kept away from the water and that it’s also dangerous to feed fish trimmings or whole fish from the lake to pets.
Humans can eat fish fillets from the lake, but shouldn’t eat whole fish as they may store toxins in their liver.
In a statement, AHS said boiling water from the lake will not remove toxins produced by the blue-green algae.
Blue-green algae occurs naturally and can resemble scum, grass clippings or a fuzz on the surface of the water. It can look blue-green, greenish-brown, brown and/ or pinkish-red and may smell musty or grassy.
Anyone who comes in contact with visible blue-green algae blooms may experience skin irritation, a rash, sore throat, sore red eyes, swollen lips, a fever, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea. Symptoms usually appear within one to three hours and last one to two days.
AHS said the lake can still be used when the blue-green algae blooms are not visible.
© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.