Correlation between lakes with active advisories?

Posted at 10:17 PM, Sep 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-11 00:17:41-04

Summer is winding down and many of you might be getting in those last trips to the lake, but several Idaho favorites are off limits right now due to algae blooms. Many idahoans enjoy recreating in nearby lakes and reservoirs.

Right now, several have active advisories including Lake Lowell, Lake Cascade, Brownlee Reservoir, and Little Camas Reservoir.

"It can cause sickness in people, animals, livestock. We've seen it cause even death mostly in animals and livestock. We don't have any issues with that with humans at this point," said Chase Cusack, DEQ Boise regional office. 

All of the popular water recreation sites have experienced positive tests for toxic algae. This may make one wonder if there is any correlation. 

"So different variables, for example temperature, water temperature, nutrients in the water. those are going to be the only things that are correlating those. they're not connected. the waters aren't connected in any way, but those are going to be the three variables that we look at mostly."

As air temperatures go up, the water temperatures go up.

"As far as nutrients go, that's just something that comes off the land. it comes out of urban environments, it comes out of rural environments. just stuff that runs off the land into the streams and rivers, that water ends up in the reservoirs and lakes."

Those variables cause algae to bloom more heavily. 

While the same conditions are leading to the problems on each reservoir, it's not a common source of water causing the issues.

The DEQ says as the temperatures start to decline this fall, so will the risks in the water. just as recreation begins to dip in the state, as well.

If anyone is recreating in water that looks suspicious, you can contact the DEQ by email or phone and they will take a look at the water.

You can also download their app called bloom watch which allows you to upload pictures with a description and location.