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HomeNewsHarmful Blue-Green Algae Confirmed In Lake Scugog, Residents And Cottagers Across Kawartha...

Harmful Blue-Green Algae Confirmed In Lake Scugog, Residents And Cottagers Across Kawartha Lakes Urged To Know The Signs

KAWARTHA LAKES-Officials say harmful algae growth in southern Ontario has been increasing steadily over the past 60 years, and with blue-green algae already confirmed in Lake Scugog this year, it’s important that residents, cottagers, and lake users know how to keep themselves safe.

“Reports of blue-green algae in Lake Scugog serve as an important reminder to always be on the lookout for changes in the colour, smell, and quality of your local lake,” said Tanner Liang, Kawartha Conservation’s Water Quality Specialist. “Learning how to properly identify and report harmful algae blooms is a simple step you can take to help keep yourself and loved ones safe while on the water this summer.”

The test results are from water samples north of the Scugog Point area and were collected by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks on April 18.

Blue-green algae are microscopic, plant-like organisms that occur naturally in ponds, rivers, lakes and streams. Although often blue green in colour, the algae may also be olive-green or red. People can protect themselves and their pets from blue-green algae blooms by not swimming or playing in areas where water is discoloured or where foam, scum, or mats of algae on the water’s surface are present. Children and pets should not play in, or drink water from areas where a beach advisory is posted. Consuming fish from areas where mats of algae are present or where a swimming advisory is posted is also not advised.

With summer weather and time on the water right around the corner, residents and lake users are urged to know the signs of harmful algae blooms (HABs) and to report any potential blooms throughout the Kawartha Lakes and Durham Region.

To help the community better understand the threats posed by HABs, Kawartha Conservation has teamed up with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit(HKPRDHU) on an online campaign to educate the public on how to identify and report harmful algae and its potential impact on humans and animals.


The campaign kicks off today across Kawartha Conservation’s social media platforms, including Facebook, TwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn, and will run for several weeks throughout the summer when HABs are most common.

“Algae occurs naturally in slow-moving bodies of water, and some algae can release a toxin that can be harmful to humans, plants, and animals if it grows too quickly or in excess,” said Richard Ovcharovich, Manager of Environmental Health at HKPRDHU. “Algae blooms cause issues for local residents and visitors that depend on our lakes and rivers for drinking water, also making it unsafe to swim and consume fish from affected areas. This campaign provides a number of fantastic resources that can help our community learn more and protect themselves from the negative impacts of harmful algae blooms,” Ovcharovich continued.

The public is encouraged to follow along with the campaign on Kawartha Conservation’s social media channels and share the posts with friends, family, and neighbours to help raise awareness about HABs. To learn more about the impacts of harmful algae blooms go to https://www.ontario.ca/page/blue-green-algae.

To report a harmful algae bloom, contact the Spills Action Centre online or by phone at +1 (866) 663-8477.


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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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