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Swimming in or drinking this algae-bloom affected water can cause red skin, sore throat, cramps or diarrhea. Caution should also be taken when considering the consumption of fish or shellfish caught in areas of a water body where a bloom exists as toxins from cyanobacteria have been shown to accumulate in the liver of exposed fish. Small amounts have also been shown to accumulate in kidneys, blood, gill, bile, intestines and brain. It is recommended that people limit their consumption of fish organs, including the skin. Studies in Alberta indicate toxins from cyanobacteria are unlikely to accumulate in the flesh of fish at levels high enough to be hazardous to humans. Correctly gutted or filleted fish represent minimal to no health hazard to human consumption.
Pet owners and livestock producers are also advised to keep their animals away from algae-bloom affected water. Pets (especially dogs) are particularly vulnerable to cyanobacteria.
The Government of Saskatchewan’s Healthy Beaches program monitors water quality at recreational beaches. Test results are posted weekly from July to early September on saskatchewan.ca/healthy-beaches. Please note that beach advisories and closures can happen at any time and may not be immediately reflected on this website. The public should always follow the notifications posted at the beach.
For more information on blue-green algae, visit the SaskH20 website: http://www.saskh20.ca/pdf/epb380blue-greenalgaeqa.pdf.
Questions about health symptoms can be directed to Healthline 811 or contact your health care provider.