(Lander, WY) – The Wyoming Department of Health issued harmful cyanobacteria bloom (HCB) recreational use advisories for Brooks Lake, Pelham Lake, Rainbow Lake, and Upper Jade Lake on the Wind River Ranger District of the Shoshone National Forest today, September 2nd.
These lakes have been posted with advisory signs. It is possible other lakes in the area are also experiencing blooms, so caution is advised.
When blooms occur, cyanobacteria become visibly abundant and can look like grass clippings, blue-green scum, or spilled paint on the water surface; when suspended in the water column, they can make the water appear green.
HCBs can produce toxins and other irritants that may cause health effects such as rashes, fatigue, disorientation and gastrointestinal illnesses. In extreme cases, toxins may lead to pet, livestock, or wildlife death.
Waterbodies under an advisory are not closed since HCBs may only be present in certain areas and conditions can change frequently. Advisories will remain in place until blooms have fully dissipated and cyanotoxin concentrations are below recreational use thresholds.
All Forest visitors are urged to avoid contact with water in areas where the above mentioned blooms or scum are visible. Other safety tips include:
- Do not ingest water from the bloom. Boiling, filtration and/or other treatments will not remove toxins.
- Rinse fish with clean water and eat only the fillet portion.
- Avoid water spray from the bloom.
- Do not allow pets or livestock to drink water near the bloom, eat bloom material, or lick fur after contact.
- If people, pets, or livestock come into contact with a bloom, rinse off with clean water as soon as possible and contact a doctor or veterinarian.
For resources and information on HCBs in Wyoming, visit https://www.wyohcbs.org/. For more information on Brooks Lake, Pelham Lake, Rainbow Lake, and Upper Jade Lake, please contact the Wind River Ranger District office at 307-455-2466.