Officals warn people to stay out of Provo Bay

Local News

PROVO (ABC4 Utah News) – Officials are telling people to stay out of Utah Lake’s Provo Bay because of an algae bloom.

Cyanobactera, commonly known as toxic algae, is an annual visitor to this lake but the Department of Environmental Quality says it has arrived early this year and the Utah County Health Department has a warning for the specific areas where the algae is blooming.

“Don’t get in the water. Don’t swim. Don’t splash,” Bryce Larsen of the Utah County Health Department said Thursday. “The recommendation is to not have contact with the water because it can either be swallowed or ingested and cause symptoms but it can also happen through skin contact.”

Even though the warning signs are posted here at the Provo Harbor boat launch that area is fine. All of the toxic algae so far has been about a mile south of there in the Provo Bay and Mud Lake areas.

Utah Lake State Park officials emphasize that most of the lake is OK for boating, fishing and swimming this holiday weekend.

John Emery has been coming here for 39 years and thinks the warnings are kind of silly.

“It just seems like a lot of panic for nothing really,” Emery told ABC4 Utah News. “I remember one year when I was a kid the water was so green in Lindon Marina it looked like grass. It was crazy and we were still out doin’ stuff.”

But Larsen says it’s no joke.

“The algae itself can cause symptoms and irritation,” Larsen said. “Basically they mimic the stomach flu, headache, body aches, vomiting diarrhea, those kinds of symptoms.”

High concentrations of the toxin can also be fatal for pets.

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