Algal bloom with extremely high toxin levels forces closure of Panguitch Lake

GARFIELD COUNTY, Utah — Panguitch Lake in Garfield County was closed Monday due to extremely high toxin levels from an ongoing cyanobacteria bloom.

Southwest Utah Public Health issued a danger advisory and the closure of the lake which is in the upper Sevier River drainage system.

The Utah Division of Water Quality first observed the large algal bloom on interpolated satellite imagery and visited Panguitch Lake on August 7.

According to the Utah Division of Environmental Quality, test results show microcystin levels are 12.5 times higher than the recreation health-based threshold.

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food has contacted livestock operators in the area and recommended they prevent cattle from drinking water from the reservoir and downstream sources.

Here’s a link to the DEQ website with more information about harmful algal blooms.