Health alerts issued for three Nebraska lakes

BEATRICE – The Nebraska Health Department has issued alerts for toxic blue-green algae, at Bluestem Lake in Lancaster County, Johnson Lake in Dawson and Gosper counties, and Kirkman's Cove Lake in Richardson County.

Samples taken earlier this week at the lakes measure above the health alert threshold of 8 parts per billion (ppb) of total microcystin, which is a toxin released by certain strains of blue-green algae.

The public should use caution and designated swimming beaches are closed during the alert. Recreational boating and fishing are permitted, but persons should avoid direct exposure to the water and keep pets from getting in the water or drinking from the lake.

People can still use the public areas for camping, picnics and other outdoor activities.

Weekly sampling has been conducted at 53 public lakes since the first week of May.