Harmful cyanobacterial blooms can be dangerous for people and animals 

LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Department of Health has issued a recreational use advisory for Leazenby Lake located south of Laramie, due to a harmful cyanobacterial bloom (HCB). HCBs are also referred to as harmful algal blooms (HABs) since cyanobacteria are commonly known as blue-green algae. A recreational use advisory means there may be health risks for people and animals in areas where HCBs occur. Lakes and reservoirs under a recreational use advisory are not closed since HCBs may only be present in certain areas of the waterbody and conditions can change frequently.

On July 22, cyanobacteria densities in the lake exceeded the 20,000 cells/mL threshold to protect recreators identified in Wyoming’s Harmful Cyanobacterial Bloom Action Plan. The advisory will remain in place until the bloom has fully dissipated. The most up-to-date information, as well as other HCB resources, can be found at WyoHCBs.org.

The Wyoming Department of Health has been working directly with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to post advisory signs at the lake. Leazenby Lake is a popular fishing spot for spin casters and fly anglers alike. The lake features a number of species including rainbow trout, brook trout, and cutthroat trout.

To avoid adverse health effects from HCBs, the Wyoming Department of Health and Wyoming Livestock Board recommend the following:

  • Avoid contact with water in the vicinity of the bloom, especially in areas where cyanobacteria are dense and form scums.
  • Do not ingest water from the bloom. Boiling, filtration and/or other treatments will not remove toxins.
  • 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, eat bloom material, or lick fur after contact.
  • If people, pets, or livestock come into contact with a bloom, rinse off with clean water as soon as possible and contact a doctor or veterinarian.

Questions about health effects and recreational use advisories can be directed to Dr. Karl Musgrave, State Environmental Health Epidemiologist / State Public Health Veterinarian, Wyoming Department of Health, at karl.musgrave@wyo.gov or (307) 777-5825.

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