If you’re planning a trip to the Georgian Bay, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) warns of the presence of blue-green algae near its southeast shoreline. 

Specifically, health officials say the algae is around the Ruta Road area. It will make the water look bluish-green, or like green pea soup or turquoise paint. 

If you do spot algae, you need to take the following precautions: 

  • Do not use the lake water for the preparation of infant formula.
  • Do not 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.
  • Do not 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 an algae bloom is visible.

SMDHU officials explain that some species of blue-green algae have the potential to produce toxins that are harmful to our and animals’ health. “Symptoms from consuming toxins from a blue-green algae bloom can include headaches, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, and can be more serious if water is swallowed in large quantities,” they continue. 

Further tests of the water will be handled by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks.