Harmful algal bloom advisory lifted for part of Smith Mountain Lake

Published: Aug. 24, 2023 at 7:42 PM EDT
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SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The harmful algal bloom (HAB) advisory in the Upper Blackwater River arm of Smith Mountain Lake in Franklin County has been lifted.

According to the Virginia Department of Health reported Thursday the Upper Blackwater River had acceptable levels of algae in samples collected July 13 and August 15, allowing them to lift the advisory from the inundated areas of the Blackwater River to its confluence with Gills Creek. Normal recreational activities can resume in the area.

The public should continue to be aware of and avoid water that smells, is discolored, or where there are dead fish present.

Algal blooms can occur when warm water and nutrients combine to make conditions favorable for algal growth. Most algal species are harmless. However, some species may produce irritating compounds or toxins. Avoid discolored water or scums that are green or bluish-green because they are more likely to contain toxins.

To prevent illness, people should:

  • Avoid contact with any area of the lake where scums are present, WHEN IN DOUBT, STAY OUT!
  • Not allow children or pets to drink from natural bodies of water.
  • Always cleanse skin, clothing, and your pet’s fur after swimming in the lake with plenty of fresh, clean soapy water after.
  • Properly clean fish by removing skin and discarding all internal organs and cook fish to the proper temperature to ensure fish fillets are safe to eat.
  • Visit www.SwimHealthyVA.com to learn more about harmful algal blooms or to report an algal bloom or fish kill.

For more information visit www.SwimHealthyVA.com.