Harmful algal blooms spotted at Eden Reservoir, Big Sandy Reservoir and Firehole Beach

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Wyo4News Staff, [email protected] [PRESS RELEASE]

SWEETWATER COUNTY, WYOMING (July 29, 2021) — Advisories are issued by the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) when cyanobacterial cell densities or cyanotoxin concentrations pose a risk to people engaging in swimming or similar water contact activities in areas where cyanobacterial blooms occur.

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The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality spotted harmful algal blooms (cyanobacteria) in Sweetwater County are at Eden Reservoir, Big Sandy Reservoir (west of the dam), and Flaming Gorge Reservoir at Firehole Beach. Samples have been collected and results are pending. Until results are confirmed, the following is recommended:

  • Avoid contact with water near the bloom.
  • Do not ingest water from the bloom.
  • Rinse fish with clean water and eat only the fillet portion.
  • Avoid water spray from the bloom.
  • Do not allow pets or livestock to drink water near the bloom.
  • If people, pets or livestock come into contact with a bloom, rinse off with clean water and seek medical attention.

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Advisory levels elevate with increased risk to human health. WDH issues a Bloom Advisory for waterbodies when cyanobacteria blooms are present and toxins may be present. WDH issues a Toxin Advisory for waterbodies when toxins exceed recreational thresholds. Cyanobacteria and cyanotoxin thresholds are outlined in Wyoming’s HCB Response Strategy and HCB Action Plan.

Because the extent of a harmful cyanobacterial bloom (HCB) may change rapidly or move from one area of a reservoir to another, WDH will issue an advisory for an entire reservoir unless otherwise noted. An advisory for a lake or reservoir should not be interpreted as a closure since many areas of the waterbody may not be impacted by a HCB. It is important to note that advisory thresholds may not be appropriate for domestic animals or livestock.

Questions regarding general health risks and symptoms related to cyanobacterial blooms can be referred to Dr. Courtney Tillman, Surveillance Epidemiologist, at 307-777-5822.

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