A recreational health advisory has been issued for Detroit Lake -- again.
Only three days after the most recent advisory was lifted, testing showed a high level of cyanotoxins in the popular reservoir east of Salem.
Those traveling to Detroit Lake should avoid swallowing water while swimming, water skiing or power boating at the lake, officials said.
Exposure to the toxic algae can produce symptoms that range from dizziness and nausea to difficulty breathing. It can be especially dangerous for children and pets. Water from the lake should not be ingested, even after being filtered.
Symptoms of skin irritation, weakness, diarrhea, nausea, cramps and fainting should receive medical attention if they persist or worsen.
The reservoir’s toxic algae has been blamed for fouling Salem’s drinking water, leading to a weeks’ long “do not drink” advisory for vulnerable populations, including children 6 and under. That advisory remains in effect.
This is the fourth health advisory this year. Here’s a timeline of events:
May 23: Tests show high levels of toxins, alert issued
June 8: Tests show safe levels of toxins, alert lifted
June 13: Tests show high levels of toxins, alert issued
June 14: Tests show safe levels of toxins, alert lifted
June 15: Tests show high levels of toxins, alert issued
June 25: Three days of tests show safe levels of toxins, alert lifted
June 28: Tests show high levels of toxins, alert issued
The confusion prompted OHA to begin a new protocol in how it issues health advisories at Detroit Lake.
OHA now requires three consecutive days of clear tests to lift a health advisory. In the past, only one clear test was needed. In addition, visual evidence will be required to ensure the algae bloom has subsided, officials said.