Blue green algae warning issued, swimming prohibited at Lake Texoma

By: Jennifer Sanders Email
By: Jennifer Sanders Email

LAKE TEXOMA - The recent algae findings at Lake Texoma are affecting thousands of people's Labor Day plan. Lake officials say while they don't know when the algae will stop spreading, it's not safe to swim but it's still safe to be at the lake this Labor Day weekend.

Almost every year Dinh Tran and his family come down from Dallas and spend time on Lake Texoma, but after he found out about the toxic blue green algae lurking in the lake, he made other plans.

"At first I was a little bit nervous, don't get in the water and don't swim," said Tran.

He's not the only one with concerns. Dozens of people have also changed their plans at the lake this holiday weekend to avoid the potentially deadly lake bacteria.

"It's a very busy weekend and we're all having a lot of cancellations and that's to be expected," said lake manager Joe Custer.

Members of the Army Corps of Engineers Rangers have been working around the clock to get the latest samples of the algae.
Late Monday they issued a warning making swimming and water-skiing off-limits to thousands of visitors who descend on Lake Texoma every Labor Day weekend.

"We found levels of blue green algae that were above the threshold that we needed to see to issue a warning," said Custer.

Officials say people can still go fishing, boating and camping near the lake, just not swimming, and the warning is in effect for all of Lake Texoma, not just the western parts reported last week. They say if people touch the algae it can cause vomiting, skin rashes and in some extreme cases it can even be fatal.

It is especially important for pet owners to keep their animals out of the water because the algae can have a stronger affect on their immune system.

Researchers say the quick spread of the algae was caused by the extreme heat and the recent drought and in the end Mother Nature has the final say in when the algae will get flushed out.

"We don't know when it will be lifted. We'll continue to sample the levels of the algae. A good rain is the best thing we could have right now," said Custer.

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