Hawkeye Lake – Blue-Green Algae Bloom Confirmed

Blue Green Algae on Lake Winnipeg
Blue Green Algae on Lake Winnipeg Photo courtesy Vicki Burns - Save Lake Winnipeg

THUNDER BAY – The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks has confirmed the presence of blue-green algae in Hawkeye Lake. The MECP continues to investigate whether the blue-green algae identified is a toxin-producing strain.

When blue-green algae is present in water, it is important to avoid drinking the water, using it for household purposes, or swimming in it. Keep pets away from the water as well, as there have been incidents in other jurisdictions where pets have died after drinking water containing blue-green algae.

Blue-green algae are microscopic organisms that are naturally present in lakes and streams. They are usually present in low numbers but can rapidly increase in warm, shallow, surface water that receives a lot of sun.

When this happens, they can form blooms that make the water look like green pea soup or turquoise paint. Some blue-green algae blooms produce toxins that pose a health risk to people and animals when consumed, inhaled, or even from skin contact. If contact with a blue-green algae bloom does occur, wash with soap and water and rinse with clean water to remove the algae.

Blue-green algae blooms in lakes in our region are rare. However, with rising water temperatures they may become more common.

If you spot a suspected blue-green algae bloom, report it to the Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060.