Corps Continues to Monitor Blue Algae in Lake Ashtabula

Heidi Harris
Staff Writer

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, is continuing to monitor the blue-green algae situation on Lake Ashtabula. The North Dakota Departments of Health and Agriculture issued an advisory Wednesday, a couple days after a dog died from consuming Ashtabula water.

Corps staff are testing each of the lake's swimming areas daily through the holiday weekend and will close or open the beaches as needed. Testing today revealed little to no blue green algae at the Mel Rieman Recreation Area, East Ashtabula Crossing and Eggerts Recreation Area, so these beaches have been reopened. Sundstrom's swimming area will remain closed until the water quality improves.

The production of blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, often happens during hot weather in bodies of water used by people, pets and livestock. Blue-green algae discolor the water and can cause foam, scum or mats to appear on the surface. It can also produce cyanotoxins, which can be dangerous for both people and animals. Strong south and southeast winds last night and today have helped move the blue algae out of the beach areas, as well as dilute it.

More on this story can be found in Friday's Times-Record.