If you are headed to the lake this weekend, be careful around the water – Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship reported algal blooms at a number of beaches this week, including some popular beaches on Lake Winnipeg.
Algae advisory signs can be seen at Hillside, Victoria, and West Grand beaches as well as at the lagoon of West Grand Beach.
Pelican Lake, which includes Ninette and Pleasant Valley beaches, has blue-green algal cells that are above the recreational water quality guideline, and the same can be said for the water Inverness Falls on Brereton Lake.The south pumphouse beach in that area, however, does not have algal cells that exceed the water quality guideline, and the concentration of the algal toxin microcystin is said to be safe.
On Lake Dauphin, Ochre Beach has blue-green algal cells that is above the guideline but the concentration of microcystin is safe here, too.
On Rock Lake and Killarney Lake beach, blue-green algal cells are said to be at a safe level and the concentration of microcystin is also said to be at a safe level.
Algae blooms are known to form and disperse quickly, which makes them difficult to predict. They also have the ability to last for several days or even weeks.
The reason for the high levels of algal cells is warm, calm weather combined with high nutrient loads in the water, as these are the perfect conditions for blue-green algae to develop, provincial officials said.
Drinking, swimming, or allowing livestock or pets to contact the water is strongly discouraged by Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship.
While algae blooms are present in the water, levels of E. coli were measured as in line with where they are supposed to be when Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship tested water levels this week.
For more information on water conditions, visit www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/waterstewardship/quality/beaches.html.