Army Corps closes Burns Run swim beaches

By  | 

BRYAN COUNTY, OK-- The public beaches are empty at East and West Burns run on Lake Texoma and that's because these signs are keeping people out.

They read "Beach closed. An algae bloom has made this area potentially unsafe for water contact." The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has only closed East and West Burns run beaches. They have not closed any other part of the lake.

Even with the high levels of blue green algae. Camper, Bob King, said he isn't worried.

"We came Sunday evening and we plan on staying through Thursday. So, our plans have not changed."

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers tested for Blue Green Algae content levels in June and results worried the Corps.

"The one that has prompted our attention is the one from East Burns Run beach, which was approximately 1.5 million cells per milliliter, which is very high." said, Lake Manager Joe Custer, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

He said this type of Blue Green Algae that's blooming in the water right now, sits about two to five feet in the water.

"You don't see the green on top, like you typically do with some other BGA," Custer said

The Corps does warn boaters at public boat ramps that there's an "elevated risk of adverse health effects." But still encourage recreation boaters and fisherman to enjoy the lake.

King said the fishing has been great, but he's still taking precaution with his grandson.

"Pretty much keeping him out of the water, he's not swimming in the water, and I lift him up into the boat."

The Corps is waiting for toxicity tests of the blue green algae found near the public beaches. Those results should be in later this week.

The beaches at Burns Run will be closed until further notice.

Here's the press release posted on their website.

"The Corps of Engineers, Lake Texoma office has temporarily closed Burns Run East and Burns Run West designated swimming beaches due to high levels of Blue-green Algae. Test results from samples taken July 17 at Burns Run East showed blue-green algae cells counts in excess of 1.5 million cells per milliliter of water and results from samples taken at Burns Run West on July 20 showed blue-green algae cell counts in excess of 1.3 million cells per milliliter of water. As a precaution, the Corps has closed the designated swimming beaches in these areas. The closure only pertains to the designated swim beaches"