Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

By Cindy Glasson
Reporter Photographer 

Algae bloom discovered at Boysen


August 31, 2017

Boaters, fishermen and those who swim in Boysen Reservoir are asked to be aware the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has discovered a potentially harmful blue-green algae bloom on the northeast portion of the reservoir.

On August 24, the DEQ visited the area to investigate and collect samples to determine whether the bloom exceeded the cell density and/or toxin concentrations identified in the Wyoming DEQ’s action plan.

Using an Abraxis test strip, a sample was collected at the northeast corner of swimming beach. The sample results showed microcystil levels exceeded the 10 microgram per liter threshold.

Samples were shipped off for additional study.

The preliminary results of that study show extremely high densities of the blue-green algae at the northeast swimming beach in an amount greater than 40 million cells per milliliter. The threshold is 20,000 cells per milliliter.

The algae is predominantly Aphanizomenon flos-aquae and Pseudanabaena.

Aphanizomenon flos-aquae can be either toxic or non-toxic, however, most sources world-wide are of the toxic variety.

BMAA, a neruotoxin amino acid produces by Aphanizomenon has been implicated in ALS/Parkinson’s Disease. It can release toxins that damage the liver and nerve tissue. Dogs have been reported to become ill or die after swimming in water containing Aphanizomenon flos-aquae.

As for Pseudanabaena, exposure to it can cause a rash or flue-like symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and upper respiratory issues. On the neurological side it may cause numbness, weakness and vertigo as well as liver problems.

To avoid the health risks, do not swim or come into contact with large amounts of green scum or algae, do not drink or consume the water. Boiling or filtering the water will not make the water safe.

Fishermen should rinse their fish with clean water and only eat the fillet portion.

Do not allow pets or livestock to drink the water, eat the algae or lick their fur after contact with the water.


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