Residents and visitors to Kahshe Lake in Gravenhurst are being advised of a blue-green algae bloom.

The local health unit released a statement Friday asking anyone in the area to exercise caution where the algae is visible. 

Officials advise the public to take the following precautions around the lake:

  • 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 algae bloom is visible.

Health officials say blooms may make the water look bluish-green, or like green pea soup or turquoise paint.

Many species of blue-green 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 will be further analyzing samples to determine the presence of any toxins.

Symptoms from consuming toxins from 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.

The health unit and the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks will continue to work together to monitor the algal bloom and updates will be provided on smdhu.org/algae