Health officials confirm toxic algae in Fernan Lake | Health
Swimmers and boaters may want to avoid going into Fernan Lake in Coeur d'Alene. The Panhandle Health District said Wednesday that they found toxic blue-green algae in the water.
Health officials said the algae can be harmful to humans and people should avoid direct contact with any water containing it.
On Sunday, the areas around the dock and bays seemed to be concentrated with the algae. Some boaters said the surface of the water appeared to be cloudy and looked like split-pea soup.
Health officials said if anyone comes into contact with the algae, they could suffer from skin irritation, allergic responses, liver damage or contract a stomach virus. The District said exposure is rare for humans but the symptoms include numbness, tingling, skin irritation and nausea. If symptoms get worse, medical experts said people should seek medical attention.
The district is also warning for people to keep their pets and livestock out of the area.
Although, the lake itself has the algae, people are encouraged to enjoy other recreational activities around the lake such as hiking, camping and catch and release fishing. Health officials say if anyone wants to eat the fish from the lake, people must remove all the fat, skin and organs before cooking or else the toxins will still affect the food.
The district said the algae is growing in the area due to the above average rain in June and the recent rapid warming of the water. The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality expects the algae to be reduced and will continue to monitor the lake until it's safe.