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A Note on Blue Green Algae

I have recently attended a conference on Blue Green Algae put on by the Oregon Lakes Association. Richard Litts was in attendance from TLBP and was also a presenter.

Tenmile Lakes Basin Partnership (TLBP) has begun a committee to evaluate and make recommendations for how to respond to the situation on our lakes. This is a national and international problem. Only a small number of lakes in Oregon are monitored and Tenmile Lake is one of them. The state of unmonitored lakes is unknown. Toxin safe levels are being lowered from 10 to 4 which means there will be more alerts. Cost is a major factor in testing as a single test for toxin levels costs around $300. Coos County has generously donated $3000 for testing on Tenmile Lake. Funds for testing lakes in Oregon is dwindling.

If money is gone for monitoring how do people protect themselves from toxin exposure? General lake warnings to stay away from blooms may or may not be appropriate as we know toxins may be present without blooms or after blooms dissipate. So how do we protect people without stopping all access to bodies of water? Recently 31 cows died drinking water in a reservoir in Lakeview, Oregon (not to be confused with Lakeside, Oregon). There have also been canine deaths after dogs drink water filled with toxins. There are a number of human symptoms with acute and chronic ingestion of toxins as well.

Alan Whitney

Pictured: Regular yellow-green algae.
Pictured: Regular yellow-green algae.

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