Blue-Green Algae Identified at Trout Lake

blue-green algae in water

The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks has confirmed the presence of blue-green algae (BGA) in a water sample collected on June 24, 2024, at Trout Lake in Gorham Township, which is located about 30km northwest of Thunder Bay.

It is important to remember that water should be avoided whenever a BGA bloom is present, and for about 2 weeks after it has dissipated.

When BGA is present in water, it is important to avoid:

  • drinking the water;
  • using it for household purposes; or
  • swimming in it.

Keep pets away from the water. Their smaller size and habit for drinking lake water makes them more vulnerable.

BGA are microscopic organisms that are naturally present in lakes and streams. They are usually present in low numbers but can rapidly increase in warm, shallow, surface water that gets a lot of sun. They can form blooms that make the water look like green pea soup or turquoise paint. When the harmful algae bloom is very large, it may form scum or clumps on the water surface.

Some BGA blooms produce toxins than pose a health risk to people and animals when consumed, inhaled, or even from skin contact. If contact with a BGA bloom does occur, wash with soap and water and rinse with clean water to remove the algae.

Historically, BGA blooms in the region have been relatively uncommon. However, with warmer weather and rising water temperatures they may become more common.

If you spot a suspected BGA bloom, report it to the Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060.

For more information on BGA blooms, please visit the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks website.

Questions about water sampling should be directed to the MECP office in Thunder Bay at 807-475-1205.

If you have questions about the health effects of BGA blooms, please contact the Thunder Bay District Health Unit at 807-625-5900 to speak with a public health inspector.

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Health Topics
Drinking Water
Inspections & Enforcement