Harmful algae blooms reported at Flaming Gorge Reservoir; visitors urged to use caution

Flaming Gorge. Taken by Joel

MANILA, Utah — Officials are cautioning visitors of parts of Flaming Gorge Reservoir due to harmful algae blooms.

The Wyoming Department of Health and the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality issued an advisory for the Lost Dog and Fire Hole areas of the reservoir.

Officials said that the algae blooms, which are highly visible, are “not unusual” to be seen this time of year.

The Ashley National Forest was set to post warning signs at entrances to the reservoir near where the algae blooms have been spotted.

Health officials recommended the following to ensure visitor safety:

• “Avoid contact with water in the vicinity of the algae bloom, especially in areas where blue-green algae are dense and form scums.

• Do not drink or consume the water. Boiling, filtration and/or chlorination will not remove toxins and will not make the water safe for drinking.

• Caution should be taken when eating fish as health effects remain unknown. Rinse fish with clean water and eat only the fillet portion.

• Do not breathe water spray in areas of the bloom.

• Keep pets and livestock away from the water. Do not allow animals to drink the water, eat dried algae, or groom themselves after contact with the water.

• If people, pets, and livestock come into contact with a bloom, rinse off with clean water as soon as possible.

Seek medical attention or a veterinarian if a person or animal is experiencing adverse health effects after exposure to an algal bloom. Young children, pregnant women, people with weak immune systems and animals are especially at risk.

Questions regarding symptoms related to an algal bloom can also be referred to the https://www.cdc.gov/habs/.

For more information, visit the DEQ’s HABs webpage at WyoHABs.org.

Waterbodies under an ADVISORY are not closed. For more information, call the Wyoming Department of Health at 307-777-7656.”