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Algae in Rivers, Lakes and Streams


The Lee County Health Department (LCHD) has received reports of algae build up in some of the fresh and brackish water bodies in the county. March-June is normally the season when algae appear. The algae bloom is caused by decreased water flow rates in our rivers and creeks due to low rainfall, and the heating of the water with the increasing spring temperatures. Algae may persist in the various lakes, canals and rivers of the county for the foreseeable future. Due to the large number of these fresh water bodies, it is impossible to track the algae conditions on a case by case basis. The type of algae in these fresh water bodies can also change quickly. LCHD is advising the public to be cautious before entering or utilizing these fresh water bodies. 


If the water appears greenish or off color to look at, or smells differently, and especially if there are signs of dead or distressed animals or marine life in or near the water, then the LCHD advises against swimming, boating, fishing or other recreational activities in or near the water. You should also not allow your pets and livestock to drink from this water. Some algae may produce toxins that can be dangerous to animals and people. If you experiences symptoms of breathing difficulties near these fresh water bodies, LCHD recommends you leave the area immediately. Please report the presence of any major algae growth to LCHD at 239-274-2200. People are also asked to report any signs of dead or distressed fish or wildlife to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 863-648-3200. As of this date, LCHD has not received complaints of algae growth in marine waters in Lee County.


For More Information on Algal Blooms:


river with algae in it

TTY users can contact us through Florida Relay by dialing 7-1-1 or one of the other Relay Toll Free Numbers.


  This page was updated on 2012-04-12 14:17:05.2.


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