Even with algae warning, lakes offer much to do

Staff writer

Blue-green algae has struck again at Marion Reservoir, but that is not stopping people from enjoying the lake.

So far this year Marion County Lake has not been affected, but the possibility is high as drought continues. If both lakes receive a warning, what can people do to have fun without getting in the water?

“Fishermen can still come out as long as they keep contact with the outside of the fish to a minimum,” said Steve Hudson Marion County park and lake supervisor. “The insides of the fish are still good. People are just encouraged to wash what they catch.”

Paddle boating and canoeing are still acceptable even if lake water is contaminated. Hudson says he does not know of anyone who has gotten sick from county lake water.

“The only thing I have ever heard of getting sick is two dogs that were swimming and drinking from the reservoir,” he said.

After its death, blue-green algae releases a neurotoxin dangerous to humans and animals.

“We’ve had quite a bit different numbers because of algae,” Hudson said. “The lake is looking better because of the weather this year, but Mother Nature is unpredictable, so you never know.”

According the lead park ranger at Marion Reservoir, Emily Coffin, the warning takes away some of the things you can do at the reservoir but not the overall fun.

“With the lake under a warning we have to shut down access to the lake water,” Coffin said. “That means no swimming or motor boating, but people can still hike, camp, fish or bike around the lake.”

We asked what non-water activities they enjoyed doing at the lake. Facebook users offered a variety of suggestions.

“I love being in the water, but also love the atmosphere, being around the water, hearing the water, walking through all the sights, seeing the beautiful Kansas sunsets, seeing the birds, campfires, playing guitar,” Feebie Holdeman wrote.

Brenda Casanova and Phoebe Janzen said they liked to take pictures around the lake. Sunsets are especially liked by photographers.

There was some confusion as to whether the reservoir was tested on June 17. According to the state, the reservoir was tested and remains under a warning. The state tested the reservoir Monday and results will be published Thursday.

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