Reservoir open to use, but algae warning in place
After being closed for a week because of blue-green algae levels, Marion Reservoir has reopened.
On June 2, the lake was hastily closed after the state health department categorized blue-green algae blooms to be a “hazard” because potentially deadly toxins were present in the water.
A warning remains in place, because the algae is not gone but only lessened.
The reservoir partially reopened Thursday and campers and anglers began coming in that evening, lake manager Brock DeLong said.
“Everything other than swim beaches will be allowed for public use,” he said.
That said, some camping areas remain closed because of flooding.
“We have high water now and there are 76 out of 216 camping areas closed in Cottonwood and Hillsboro coves,” he said.
He asks lake visitors to pay attention to current conditions and talk to rangers if they see something out of the ordinary.
He also urged visitors to limit direct contact with water.
“That’s one of the reasons we close the swim beaches,” DeLong said.
The county lake is no longer under the “watch” status issued June 2.
A “warning” status indicates conditions are unsafe for human and pet exposure.
Contact with the water should be avoided. This means neither people nor animals should drink the water, fish should be rinsed with clean water and only the fillet portion is consumed.
Pets should not be allowed to eat dried algae, skin should be washed if lake water contacts it, and areas of visible algae should be avoided.
Areas of visible algae should be avoided.
Algae blooms look like foam, scum or paint floating on the water and are colored blue, bright green, brown or red. The blooms can develop rapidly.
Toxins can be absorbed by ingestion, inhalation of aerosols and skin contact. Symptoms vary depending upon the type of exposure but can include rash, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, sore throat, and headache.
Suspected algae-related health incidents, whether human or animal, should be reported at https://www.kdhe.ks.gov/1163.