Blue-green algae that can be toxic blooming in the Lake Winnebago System

Published: Aug. 7, 2017 at 4:57 PM CDT
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In June, blue-green algae was found on waterways in Green Bay.

The Winnebago County Health Department is now warning about the same problem on the Lake Winnebago System.

The Winnebago County Health Department says pictures taken by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows the concentration of blue-green algae in Green Bay, the Fox River, and Lake Winnebago Water System.

"It clearly showed over the month of July the increase in blue-green algae loads in the local waters," said Doug Gieryn, Winnebago County Health Department Director/Health Officer.

Winnebago County Health Department says blue-green algae can be toxic and can make humans and animals sick.

"You mostly have to watch out, mainly, for kids and pets. Most adults aren't going to enter water that doesn't look very good,” Gieryn said. “Kids want to play; they may not always realize what the hazards are."

The DNR says algae-bloom typically happens in waterways during summer months and shows up sporadically.

"Algae tends to collect on the surface during the summer days we have,” Rob McLennan, DNR Water Resources Supervisor said. “Because it likes that bright light, then when the wind blows it can pile up into somebody’s shoreline and people need to be careful."

The DNR says it's hard to remove blue-green algae blooms from large bodies of water, so it's hoping to find and limit nutrient-rich runoff, which fuels blooms from entering the waterways.

"So we're working with EPA and a contractor to develop a plan or a project that's called a total maximum daily load project, which will analyze all the different sources," said McLennan.