Eagle Lake east of Calgary affected by toxic blue-green algae bloom

An advisory has been issued for blue-green algae on Eagle Lake, located east of Calgary near Strathmore, Alta.

Alberta Health Services advises people to stay away from the water

A bloom of blue-green algae as shown by researchers. (Submitted by University of Alberta)

A blue-green algae bloom advisory has been issued by Alberta Health Services for Eagle Lake, located east of Calgary.

The lake near Strathmore has had a number of similar advisories over the past few years.

The advisory states:

  • Avoid all contact with blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) blooms. If contact occurs, wash with tap water as soon as possible.
  • Do not swim or wade (or allow your pets to swim or wade) in any areas where blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) is visible. 
  •  Do not feed whole fish or fish trimmings from this lake to your pets.
  • Consider limiting human consumption of whole fish and fish trimmings from this lake because it is known that fish may store toxins in their liver. (People can safely consume fish fillets from this lake.)

AHS says boiling the water does not remove the toxins and an alternate source of drinking water should be provided for pets and livestock.

"Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) is naturally occurring, and often become visible when weather conditions are calm.  Appearing like scum, grass clippings, fuzz or globs on the surface of water, blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) can be blue-green, greenish-brown, brown, and/or pinkish-red, and often smell musty or grassy," states the release.

It also says areas of the lake where the algae bloom is not visible can still be used for recreation purposes.

Eagle Lake is located east of Calgary just south of the Trans-Canada Highway. (Google Maps)