BONNYVILLE – A blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) bloom has not been an issue so far in 2023 for Moose Lake. Residents living near the shores, as well as visitors to the lake, are advised to take the following precautions:
Avoid all contact with blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) blooms. If contact occurs, wash with tap water as soon as possible.
Do not swim or wade, or allow your pets to swim or wade in any areas where blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) is visible.
To answer some of your questions here is some information from:
https://myhealth.alberta.ca/alberta/pages/blue-green-algae.aspx regarding the effects of cyanobacteria on human health and consumption of fish from the lake.
Moose lake is often part of the beach monitoring program with Alberta Health Services. Usually they only monitor Vezeau. This year I, along with the Alberta Lake Management Society petitioned for a greater number of tests at additional sites. The data that Laurie, along with another volunteer at two other beach sites collected was added due to this ask. As for next steps, it is entirely up to AHS, however it would be very beneficial for residents to take this to both the MD of Bonnyville Council and the MLA and put pressure for some form of action and response to this. As in most cases, the squeaky wheel gets the grease; the lakes with the most vocal residents will get attention from both AHS and Alberta Environment and Parks (Pigeon Lake for example has had a lot of dollars funneled their way due to high vocalization of their residents). This year (in February) our nutrient budget will be complete which is also useful to take to the ministries to be able to access programs and funding as well as for further studies for the lake. If there is no residents complaining to the various levels of government officials, then AHS will most likely not do anything with this data that was collected, except file it as information.
Is it safe to eat fish from water that might contain blue-green algae?
You can safely eat fish fillets from lakes affected by blue-green algae. You might want to limit how much whole fish and trimmings (any waste from filleting a fish including head, bones, intestines, or skin) you eat, because it is known that fish store toxins in their livers.
Testing is being done on the livers of fish from Alberta lakes. These test results may inform future updates to the fish consumption advisory messages.