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North Tenmile Lake

North Tenmile Lake

NORTH TENMILE LAKE — Harmful algae toxins are blooming in North Tenmile Lake.

According to a press release from the Oregon Health Authority, the lake is seeing cyanobacterial bloom and cyanotoxins registering above the recreational guidelines for human exposure.

“People should avoid swimming and high-speed water activities, such as water skiing or power boating, in areas of the lake where blooms are identified,” the release said. “Although toxins are not absorbed through the skin, people who have skin sensitivities may experience a puffy red rash.”

Even so, people are being encouraged to still visit the lake and enjoy fishing, camping, hiking and other activities.

“Boating is safe as long as speeds do not create excessive water spray, which could lead to inhalation risk,” the release said.

“Especially dangerous” would be drinking the water from the lake affected by the bloom. The toxins can’t be removed through boiling, filtering or treating water with camping-style filters, the release said.

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“People who are not on a well or a public water system and draw in-home water directly from an affected area are advised to use an alternative water source because not all private treatment systems are proven effective in removing cyanotoxins,” the release said.

As for fishing, fish caught where the blooms are present should have fat, skin and organs removed before cooking or freezing as “toxins are more likely to collect in these tissues,” the release said. “Fillets should also be rinsed with clean water.”

Exposure to these toxins can be serious. Symptoms range from food poisoning-like sickness that includes stomach cramping, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, to more serious symptoms like numbness, tingling, dizziness, and shortness of breath, the release said. Those symptoms may need medical attention.

“Children and pets are at increased risk for exposure because of their size and level of activity,” the release said. “People who bring their pets to a lake with areas affected by a bloom for recreation activities should take special precautions to keep them from drinking from or swimming in these areas.”

For health information or to report an illness, contact the Oregon Health Authority at 971-673-0482.

For more information, visit the OHA recreational advisory webpage at healthoregon.org/hab.

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