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Frank A. Douglass Insurance Agency

Toxic Algae Advisory Issued for Portage Waterway and Torch Lake

A Public Health Advisory has been posted for Portage Lake, Torch Lake, and the Portage Canal because of a bloom of potentially toxic algae.

Officials with the Western U.P. Health Department say harmful algal blooms can look like spilled paint, pea soup, floating scum, mats, green sheens, clumps, or streaks in the water.

The bloom will be tested for Anatoxin-a, but results will not be available until after the holiday weekend.

Swimming, wading and water activities that create spray are not recommended in those areas.

Children and pets should be closely monitored to make sure they do not come into contact with algae in the water, or along the shore. If they do, rinse them off, and watch them for illness.

Algal toxins can make people and animals sick when swallowed or breathed in, and may cause skin irritations such as rashes and hives. Anatoxin-a has been known to kill dogs who drink contaminated water.

If you suspect someone has been sickened by an algal toxin, consult with your doctor, or call Poison Control at 800-222-1222. If symptoms are severe, take the victim to the emergency room.

If animals become sick after contact with lake water, contact your veterinarian immediately.

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