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DWR Warns of Dangers of Swimming in or Eating Fish From Silverwood Lake

DWR Warns of Dangers of Swimming in or Eating Fish From Silverwood Lake

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) warned people that they should not swim or eat the fish in Silverwood Lake until further notice due to blue-green algae.

“Boating is allowed, but swimming and other water-contact recreation and sporting activities are not considered safe under the danger advisory due to potential adverse health effects,” DWR officials said in a news release. “The danger advisory is in effect for the entire lake.”

Exposure to blue-green algae can potentially cause eye irritation, allergic skin rash, mouth ulcers, vomiting, diarrhea, and flu-like symptoms. Pets should also not be allowed near the lake because they tend to drink the water and lick their fur. The color can range from blue, green, white, or brown. 

State guidelines on cyanobacteria and harmful algal blooms recommend the following precautions be taken in waters impacted by blue-green algae:

  • Take care that pets and livestock do not drink the water, swim through algal blooms, scum, or mats, or lick their fur after going in the water. Rinse pets in clean water to remove algae from fur.
  • Avoid wading, swimming, or jet or water skiing in water containing algae blooms, scum, or mats.
  • Do not drink, cook, or wash dishes with untreated surface water from these areas under any circumstances. Common water purification techniques such as camping filters, tablets, and boiling do not remove toxins.
  • Do not eat mussels or other bivalves collected from these areas. Limit or avoid eating fish. If fish are consumed, remove the guts and liver and rinse filets in clean drinking water. No fish should be consumed under a danger advisory.
  • Get medical treatment immediately if you think that you, a family member, friend, pet, or livestock might have been poisoned by blue-green algae toxins. Be sure to alert medical professionals to the possible contact with blue-green algae. Also, make sure to contact the local county public health department.

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