More harmful algal blooms found in Helena-area waters

INDEPENDENT RECORD

Lewis and Clark Public Health on Monday said there are still harmful algal blooms being found in the county even as temperatures cool down.

Lake Helena Boat Launch on Lincoln Road, Hauser Lake at York Bridge Boat Launch and Hauser Lake at Clark’s Bay Day Use all contain confirmed harmful algal blooms (HABs), officials posted on Facebook.

All three of these sites measured at 10 ppb microcystins (4 ppb is the EPA caution level where health effects occur). Blooms have been reported earlier in other Helena-area waters, county officials said.

According to the county’s environmental tech, Lake Helena on the south side of the Causeway also looked bad, and probably has the same results as the Lake Helena Boat Launch (although this area was not tested).

When in doubt, stay out, if you suspect an HAB, officials warned. 

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Avoid exposure to any water that may contain harmful algae. Be especially vigilant with children, pets and livestock. Direct contact, ingestion or inhalation of cyanotoxins may irritate the skin, eyes, nose and respiratory system or cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or headaches.

HABs are caused by blue-green algae that are native to

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