The water conditions at Lake Cascade and the Payette River are potentially hazardous, due to harmful algal blooms.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (IDHW), the Division of Public Health (DPH), and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ) have tested and found algal blooms in Lake Cascade and the Payette River stretching from the lake to Payette through Boise, Gem, Payette, and Valley counties.
The DEQ confirmed that the amount of bacteria in the lake may lead to illness in humans and animals.
The DPH advise visitors to be cautious near the water and take the following precautions:
- Ensure pets and livestock are not exposed to the water.
- Clean skin, hide, or fur with clean water as soon as possible after any water contact.
- Do not drink or cook with water containing a bloom. Boiling and filtering the water does not remove the toxins and can increase the risk of adverse health effects.
- Wash hands thoroughly in clean water after handling fish or objects from these waters.
- Clean and wash fish thoroughly in uncontaminated water and dispose of internal organs before consumption. If you choose to eat fish from this area, filet the fish and remove all fat, skin, and organs before cooking. Cyanotoxins can accumulate in fish and the risk to people is still being studied.
- Avoid water if you have increased risk of illness from exposure. People at increased risk of illness from cyanotoxins include those with liver or kidney damage, and should avoid swimming, wading, or other activities in the water.
- Monitor media reports and DHW’s website for health advisories.
The Algal Bloom emit dangerous cyanotoxins. The symptoms of the toxin include rash, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, and/or wheezing. More severe symptoms can occur if the water is ingested.