Health advisory issued for Lake Selmac

JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore. —Officials issued a health advisory for Lake Selmac due to the presence of harmful algae blooms and toxins.

The Oregon Health Authority said they’ve detected the presence of cyanobacteria and the toxins they produce in the lake.

People are advised to avoid swimming and doing high-speed water activities such as water skiing or power boating in areas of the lake where blooms are identified.

“If they see anything that looks out of the ordinary that’s not actually algae, stay out away from that area, definitely keep their dogs or pets away from that area,” Rebecca Hillwig, Natural Resource Specialist at the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division said.

OHA said there is a huge presence of harmful algae bloom and toxins in the northwest corner of the lake.

“People are encouraged to visit Lake Selmac and enjoy activities such as fishing, camping, hiking, biking, picnicking and bird watching,” OHA said. “Boating is safe as long as speeds do not create excessive water spray, which could lead to inhalation risk.”

If anyone decides to eat fish from the lake, it’s important that all skin, fat, and organs be removed, as they could be toxic.

“Exposure to cyanotoxins can be serious and result in a range of symptoms, from those similar to food poisoning such as stomach cramping, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, to more serious symptoms like numbness, tingling, dizziness and shortness of breath that may require medical attention,” OHA said.

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