HELENA — Lewis and Clark Public Health says a harmful algal bloom has been identified at Hauser Lake near the Clark’s Bay Day Use Area.
Sampling performed LCPH on August 10, 2022, indicated the presence of blue-green algae species producing microcystin toxin. For reference, both the state of Montana and the Environmental Protection Agency recreational water recommendations use 4 parts per billion (ppb) as the warning level for microcystin toxin.
The testing on August 10 indicated a level of microcystin at or above 10 ppb. LCPH will retest for microcystin toxin in the coming weeks and will continue to monitor other harmful algal blooms in county water bodies.
Sampling at the Lake Helena Boat Launch on Lincoln Rd E, the Causeway Boat Launch, and Canyon Ferry Lake at Hellgate Campground on August 10, 2022, also indicated the presence blue-green algae. These sites tested negative for toxins. Users of these areas should still be cautious as conditions may rapidly change.
Public health officials advise the public to avoid exposure to any water that may contain harmful algae. Families should be especially vigilant with children, pets, and livestock.
Direct contact, ingestion, or inhalation of cyanotoxins may irritate the skin, eyes, nose and respiratory system or cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or headaches.
If you suspect a HAB-related illness in a person or animal, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 and seek medical attention.
Report a suspected HAB at www.hab.mt.gov or call 1-888-849-2938. You may also report a suspected HAB by calling Lewis and Clark Public Health, Environmental Health Division, at 406-447-8351.