The concerns of harmful algae blooms are going viral throughout the Nation. Although the stories range from abstract to some truth, it is important for everyone to be educated about the concerns of algae and public health. Most lakes this season including Big Bear Lake are seeing normal to above normal algae blooms due to the extreme run off of nutrients from the winter paired with very warm and calm weather. These blooms usually appear the heaviest in August when the lake mixes and can last several months. Although algae is always present in small numbers, blooms under the right conditions can spread very quickly. We monitor daily during summer months for algae present and have observed blooms from mid-July until current. With the current weather report, the likelihood of the algae increasing is likely.
The District recommends you use common sense and if it looks green and you observe a scum on the surface don’t go in or let your pets drink the water. If your pet goes in or you just want to take a ski run, take a shower and rinse your dog off. Ingesting the algae is never healthy and could cause stomach issues for you and your pet. Dogs will lick themselves clean after swimming in the Lake and combine that with drinking the water will magnify the toxins in the body. Remember, we do take water samples weekly or more often depending on conditions but the blooms can come very quickly and unannounced. So, the bottom line is use common sense and if it looks uninviting or you are uncertain, it probably should be avoided.
Lastly, if you have any concerns, please call our main office and be very cautious of using social media as your only source of information.