Blue Green Algae May Hamper Yet Another Summer Holiday

Wednesday, August 31st 2011, 12:40 am
By: News On 6

Craig Day, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Blue-Green Algae could ruin the holiday weekend for folks headed to local lakes. The sickening slime is making many places off-limits for swimming.

At Keystone Lake's Appalachia Bay, gate attendants Orville and Pauline Nichols are spreading the word about a spreading threat.

Technically, the swimming beach is open, but the Army Corps of Engineers is prohibiting contact with the water.

"What goes through my mind now I'm worried about the little children, because a two year old and four year old are out here with us," said Frankie Haling, Sand Springs Resident.

Blooms from the algae can produce a toxin that can be harmful to people and pets. So the Corps has issued warnings for some lakes.

"Basically been raised in the state, I moved here when I was six years old, and I can never recall it. I can remember the drought, and remember the heat, but not the algae," said Ron Hall, who is camping near the lake.

While all lakes remain open, the corps is prohibiting contact with water in some places, and has even closed some swim beaches.

At Twin Points swim beach at Skiatook Lake, alcohol, pets and now people aren't permitted. The gate is locked. A warning sign is up, and camper Ron Hall says the spirits of some lake goers are down.

"I think all of these lakes are hurting as far as the tourists," Hall said.

The Corps has also issued advisories for several area lakes, where contact with water isn't prohibited, but it is discouraged.

Orville and Pauline Nichols will keep reminding people, and hoping visitors heed the warnings.

Tuesday, the Corps issued a blue green algae warning for Sandy Bass Bay at Lake Eufaula, and coming into contact with water at that part of the lake is prohibited.

8/25/2011 Related Story: Blue-Green Algae Closes Ft. Gibson Lake Swimming Beach