The state has issued a health alert for toxic blue-green algae at Lone Star Lake in Fillmore County.
This is the first health alert issued in the 2013 recreational season. Weekly sampling has been conducted at 50 public lakes in Nebraska since the beginning of May.
Samples taken in the past week at Lone Star Lake were above the state's health alert threshold of 20 parts per billion (ppb) of total microcystin -a toxin released by certain strains of blue-green algae. The alert will continue at the lake for at least two more weeks, as lakes that are on health alert must have two consecutive weeks of readings below the threshold before being declared safe.
Signs are posted to advise the public to use caution and designated swimming beaches are closed during the alert.
Recreational boating and fishing are still permitted, but the public is advised to avoid activities that could involve accidental ingestion of water and to avoid full immersion in water. People can still use the public areas for camping, picnics and other outdoor activities.
The lakes will continue to be monitored weekly throughout the 2013 recreational season. Sampling results for toxic algae and bacteria will be updated every Friday and posted on NDEQ's web site, www.deq.ne.gov.