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Blue-green algae found at Hazelwood Lake

Lab tests are being conducted for the presence of toxins
Hazelwood Lake conservation area
The Hazelwood Lake Conservation Area is located north of Thunder Bay (LRCA photo)

THUNDER BAY — Blue-green algae has shown up at a Thunder Bay-area lake for the first time in 2021.

The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks on Monday confirmed the presence of the algae in a water sample collected on June 14 from the swimming area at the Hazelwood Lake Conservation Area.

Analysis of the sample for the presence of toxins is still underway.

Blue-green algae may contain toxins that pose a health risk to people and animals when consumed, or even from skin contact.

The Thunder Bay District Health Unit will post the results on its website.

The TBDHU cautions that water should be avoided whenever a blue-green algae bloom is present, and for about two weeks after it has dissipated.

Historically, its presence in area lakes has been relatively uncommon.

However, the TBDHU says a warming climate and rising water temperatures may make its occurrence increasingly common.

Anyone spotting a suspected blue-green algae bloom should report it to Ontario's Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060.

Gary Rinne

About the Author: Gary Rinne

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Gary started part-time at Tbnewswatch in 2016 after retiring from the CBC
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