The Department of Water Resources (DWR) is urging the public to to avoid physical contact with water at Castaic Lake in Los Angeles County until further notice due to the presence of blue-green algae. People should also avoid eating fish or shellfish from the lake.
DWR received lab results showing an increase in toxin levels which prompted the danger advisory. It will remain in effect for the entire Castaic Lake, except Castaic Lagoon, until further notice. Once toxins are found, testing continues, and the posted health advisory and recommended precautions are not reduced until lab results show the Harmful Algal Bloom is declining and toxin levels have been below the level of concern for two weeks.
It is advised that people and pets stay out of the water and avoid contact with algal scum in the water or on shore. Boating is allowed, but water-contact recreation and sporting activities are not considered safe due to potential adverse health effects.
Exposure to toxic blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, can cause eye irritation, allergic skin rash, mouth ulcers, vomiting, diarrhea, and cold- and flu-like symptoms. Pets can be especially susceptible because they tend to drink while in the water and lick their fur afterwards. Keep pets away from the water.
Bloom conditions can change rapidly, and wind and waves may move or concentrate the bloom into different regions of the reservoir. The algal bloom can accumulate into mats, and scum, form foam at the surface and along the shoreline, and range in color from blue, green, white, or brown.
Get medical treatment immediately if you think that you, a family member, friend, pet, or livestock might have been poisoned by blue-green algae toxins. Be sure to alert medical professionals to the possible contact with blue-green algae. Also, make sure to contact the local county public health department.