Blue-green algae alert issued for Caloosahatchee River – Franklin Locks | News, Sports, Jobs

As a result of a water sample taken on June 1, the Florida Department of Health in Lee County issued a health warning for the presence of harmful blue-green algae toxins in the Caloosahatchee River – Franklin Locks.

The public should exercise caution in and around the water there, officials said.

Residents and visitors are asked to take the following precautions:

• Do not drink, swim, wade, use personal watercraft, water ski or boat in bodies of water with visible blooms.

• Wash your skin and clothes with soap and water if you come into contact with algae or discolored or smelly water.

• Keep pets away from the area. Waters with algal blooms are dangerous for animals. Pets and farm animals should have a different water source when algae bloom.

• Do not cook or wash dishes with water that has been contaminated with algae blooms. Boiling the water will not eliminate the toxins.

• Fillets of healthy fish caught in flowery freshwater lakes are safe to eat. Rinse the fish fillets with tap or bottled water, discard the entrails and cook the fish well.

• Do not eat shellfish in waters with algal blooms.

What are blue-green algae?

Blue-green algae are a type of bacteria that are common in Florida’s freshwater environments. A bloom occurs when rapid algae growth leads to an accumulation of individual cells that discolor the water and often form floating mats that emit unpleasant odors.

Some environmental factors that contribute to blue algae bloom include sunny days, warm water temperatures, calm water conditions, and excess nutrients. Flowers can appear year-round, but are more common in summer and fall. Many types of blue-green algae can produce toxins.

Is it harmful?

Blue algae blooms can affect human health and ecosystems, including fish and other aquatic animals.

For more information on the potential health effects of algal blooms, visit

For the latest information on Florida’s water quality status and health alerts on harmful algal blooms and beach conditions, visit Protecting Florida Together is the state’s joint effort to provide nationwide water quality information to prioritize environmental transparency and commitment to action.

What do I do if I see an algae bloom?

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection collects and analyzes algal bloom samples. To report a bloom to DEP, call the toll-free hotline at 855-305-3903 or report online.

To report fish deaths, contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute at 1-800-636-0511.

To report symptoms of harmful algal bloom or aquatic toxin to the Florida Poison Information Center, call 1-800-222-1222 to speak to a poison specialist immediately.

Contact your veterinarian if you think your pet may be ill after consuming or coming into contact with blue-green algae-contaminated water.

If you have other health questions or concerns about blue algae bloom, call the Florida Department of Health in Lee County at (239) 690-2100.

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