The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is advising residents, and visitors about a blue-green algae bloom found in Brandy Lake.

The health unit algae are located in the north end of the lake around the Falkenburg Road and Brackenrig Road area in Muskoka Lakes Township – and they’re asking people to use caution where the algae are visible by taking a number of precautions:

  • Don’t use the lake water for the preparation of infant formula
  • Don’t allow pets or livestock to drink or swim in the water where an algae bloom is visible.
  • Be cautious about eating fish caught in water where blue-green algae blooms occur.
  • Don’t use herbicides, copper sulphate or other algaecides that may break open algae cells and release toxins into the water.
  • Avoid swimming, and other water sport activities where algae bloom is visible.

The health unit explains that blooms can make the water look bluish-green, or like green pea soup or turquoise paint.

Many species of this type of algae – also called cyanobacteria – have the potential to produce toxins that are harmful to the health of humans and animals.

The Ministry of Environment, Conservation, and Parks is analyzing further samples to determine the presence of any toxins.

Consuming toxins from a blue green-algae bloom can result in headaches, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, and symptoms can be more serious if the water is swallowed in large quantities.

The health unit and the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks continues to monitor the algal bloom and updates will be provided on the SMDHU’s website.

To learn more, head here or call Health Connection weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.at 705-721-7520 or at 1-877-721-7520.