A blue-green algae bloom has been spotted on the northwest shoreline of Leonard Lake in Muskoka Lakes.
Officials with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit say many species of blue-green algae can produce toxins that are harmful to humans and animals.
They point out that the water infected by a bloom will look bluish-green, like green pea soup, or turquoise paint.
Officials say humans and animals should not drink or use the water from affected lakes, including water drawn from the lake by private water supplies, don’t swim in the area affected, “exercise caution” when eating fish caught from the area of the lake where the blooms are, and do not use herbicides, copper sulphate or other algaecides that may break open algae cells and release toxins into the water.
Symptoms following contact or consuming toxins from a blue-green algae bloom can include skin, eye, or throat irritation, breathing difficulties, headaches, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. The symptoms could be more serious if a lot of the bad water is swallowed.
Leonard Lake is one of four lakes affected by a blue-green algae bloom. Three Mile Lake and Bass Lake in Muskoka Lakes and Mary Lake in Huntsville are the others.