Chris' Corner: Blue-Green Algae in Sturgeon Lake

Blue-Green Algae in Sturgeon Lake

Sturgeon Lake

The confirmed presence of blue-green algae (Cyababaceria, aka "pond scum") in parts of Sturgeon Lake between Sturgeon Point and Bobcaygeon, has resulted in a advisory from the Haliburton, Kawartha and Pine Ridge Health Unit to avoid the use of water from the lake in affected areas for drinking, cooking, bathing, washing clothes and dishes and providing water to pets.  People, dogs and other pets should be kept from entering and swimming in affected areas of Sturgeon Lake.

Ingesting this algae can lead to headaches, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and a host of other health problems.  Contact with water contaminated with blue-green algae can result in skin rashes, swollen lips, eye irritation, ear ache, sore throat and other symptoms.  If you have been in contact or ingested water containing blue-green algae and are exhibiting symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.

The consuming of fish or shellfish caught in areas containing blue-green algae is discouraged.

This explains why the cottage is so quiet... no jet skis on the lake... perhaps that is why there seemed to be less people when I arrived Saturday evening.  We had intended to do some fishing, and perhaps to swim, but we will manage to find other activities to keep us (Alec) occupied.

Helen told me her uncle had told her about this before they came up earlier in the week, but it was "news" to me.  She also told me about "killer amoeba" in warm lakes in the U.S. south.  I had to look this up.  I have never heard of anything like this, and perhaps this, too, is true...

If you are interested, these are four good links I found:
Third amoeba-related death this month in the U.S.
2007-Phoenix, Arizona - 6 Die from Brain eating Amoeba
Parent's Summer Nightmare - Killer Brain-eating Amoeba
Researcher's target killer amoeba

Chris Smith CSSBB
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Comment balloon 5 commentsChris Smith • August 21 2011 11:57PM


What a shame you can't enjoy the lake or the fish.  Kind of takes the wind out of your sails!

Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) over 9 years ago

Hi Chris - Hopefully the blue-green algae will disappear in time for your next visit to the cottage.

Posted by FN LN over 9 years ago

Georgina, my wife and mother-in-law appreciate fishing much more than I do... The lake is beautiful and quiet, things I can enjoy, much more if the rains would end and the sun would shine.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 9 years ago

Marc, Helen is making noise about coming up this year for the Lindsay fair.  I am sure the algae will be gone by then, though it will be way too cold for swimming...

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 9 years ago

We had a scare with algae last summer around this time with our dog.  Since then, we have been much more aware.  Great post!  Thanks for the recent re-blog, too!

Posted by David Artigliere, ARTI Home Inspections, ASHI Certified Home Inspect (Reading, Pottstown, Norristown, Philadelphia) over 9 years ago