Algal toxins can be harmful to people and pets.
A water sample taken in Crescent Lake near Shell Bluff on Aug. 30 contained harmful blue-green algal toxins, and the public should use caution in the area, according to a health alert issued Sept. 6 by the Florida Department of Health in Flagler County.
Visitors should take the following precautions, according to the Health Department's news release:
- Do not drink, swim, wade, use personal watercraft, water ski or boat in waters where there is a visible bloom.
- Wash your skin and clothes with soap and water if you have contact with algae or discolored or smelly water.
- Keep pets away from the area. Waters where there are algae blooms are not safe for animals. Pets and livestock should have a different source of water. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you believe your pet has become ill after consuming or having contact with blue-green algae contaminated water.
- Do not cook or clean dishes with water contaminated by algae blooms. Boiling the water will not eliminate the toxins.
- Eating fillets from healthy fish caught in freshwater lakes experiencing blooms is safe. Rinse fish fillets with tap or bottled water, throw out the guts and cook fish well.
- Do not eat shellfish from waters with algae blooms.
For more information on health effects of algal blooms, visit floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/aquatic-toxins. To speak to a poison specialist immediately, call the the Florida Poison Information Center at 1-800-222-1222.
To report a bloom to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, call 855-305-3903 or report online. To report fish kills, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute at 1-800-636-0511.