Residents and visitors to Ril Lake, Lake of Bays Township are being cautioned about a confirmed blue-green algae bloom impacting the northeast area of the lake.
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is asking residents and visitors to exercise caution where blue-green algae is visible and to take the following precautions:
- do not use the lake water for the preparation of infant formula
- be cautious about eating fish caught in water where blue-green algae blooms occur
- do not use herbicides, copper sulphate or other algaecides that may break open algae cells and release toxins into the water
- avoid swimming and other water sport activities where an algae bloom is visible.
Blooms may make the water look bluish-green, or like green pea soup or turquoise paint.
Many species of blue-green algae (also called cyanobacteria) have the potential to produce toxins that are harmful to the health of humans and animals. The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks will be further analyzing samples to determine the presence of any toxins.
Symptoms from consuming toxins from a blue-green algae bloom can include headaches, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, and can be more serious if water is swallowed in large quantities.