Visitors to Elk Island National Park can enjoy a dip in Astotin Lake right now without having to worry about blue-green algae.
The lake is regularly checked for the presence of the filmy cyanobacteria, with the latest round of testing showing no cause for concern.
“It is an issue in some other lakes, and we haven't run into it here recently at Elk Island National Park,” said Janelle Lane, communications officer with the park.
According to Alberta Health Services, blue-green algae blooms tend to appear during calm weather conditions, taking the form of fuzzy green, blue, brown or pinkish-red globs or fuzz on the surface of lake water. People exposed to the musty or grassy-smelling algae might experience irritated skin, rashes, swollen lips, nausea, vomiting or other symptoms.
Pointing out that people have reported coming down with swimmer's itch after spending time in Astotin, Lane recommends swimmers and boaters rinse off in the park’s outdoor shower after coming out of the water.
The lake is a popular destination for using a canoe, kayak and paddle board.