Saturday, December 9, 2023

Health advisory issued for eastern Idaho’s Henrys Lake for harmful algal bloom

A health advisory has been issued for Henrys Lake, and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is urging caution for those recreating in or near its waters.

Recent samples from the lake have shown high amounts of cyanobacteria, which produce cyanotoxins that are harmful to humans, pets and livestock.

Summer heat can cause dangerous conditions, harmful algal blooms in Idaho’s rivers and lakes

The health advisory, issued by the health department in conjunction with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, is similar to others around the state, including advisories for Brownlee Reservoir, Cedar Creek Reservoir near the south boat ramp, Fernan Lake and Hells Canyon from Big Bar campground to the dam. A previous health advisory for Island Park Reservoir has been lifted. To view a map of advisories around the state, go to

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Health officials urge the public recreating near or at Henrys Lake to take the following precautions:

  • Avoid swimming, submersion, or other contact with water. Be very careful to ensure that children do not drink or get into the water.
  • Make sure pets and livestock do not drink or go into the water. If they come into contact with water, clean their skin, hide, or fur with clean water immediately.
  • Do not drink or cook with the water. Boiling or filtering water does not remove toxins and increases the risk of getting sick.
  • Wash hands thoroughly with clean water after handling fish or objects from the water.
  • If you choose to eat fish from the water, clean and rinse the fish thoroughly in clean water. Filet the fish, and remove all fat, skin and internal organs before cooking. Cyanotoxins can accumulate in fish, and the risk to humans is unknown.
  • Look at the symptoms. If you touch or swim in water or breathe in water droplets, you may experience a rash, hives, red eyes, coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath. If you swallow the water, you may have stomach pain, diarrhea or vomiting. You may have a headache, muscle weakness or dizziness. If your liver is damaged, your skin may turn yellow, and you may have dark urine. If you think you may have been sickened by cyanotoxin, consult your health care provider or call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222. Also, notification (email protected).
  • Monitor media reports and the DHW website for health advisories.
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