Southern Gage County recreation area off health alert status

WYMORE - A health alert issued for toxic blue-green algae late last week for Big Indian Recreation Area Southwest of Wymore has now been lifted.

The recreation area was placed on alert after routine samples showed elevated levels of microcystin, a toxin released by certain strains of blue-green algae. The lake tested at 9.2 parts per billion(ppb), just above the threshold of 8 ppb. Samples taken this week show much lower levels at just 3.5 ppb.

Lower Big Blue NRD officials say when a health alert is issued, signs are posted to advise the public to use caution, and designated swimming beaches are closed during the alert. Recreational boating and fishing are permitted, but the public is advised to use caution and avoid exposure to the water.

Lower Big Blue NRD Manager Dave Clabaugh says, “We don’t want anybody to get sick. These alerts are issued out of an abundance of caution so that people know to limit contact with the water. He says conditions can change rapidly with regard to algae so weekly sampling is an important part of keeping everyone safe.