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Blue-green algae warning for Lake Charlegrark

Thursday 17 January, 2019

Parks Victoria has announced that a blue-green algae bloom is currently affecting Lake Charlegrark, in western Victoria.

Warning signs have been installed at the lake and the public is warned not to swim in and to avoid any direct contact with the affected water.

Direct contact with blue-green algae can cause allergic reactions such as skin rashes or itchiness, sore eyes, ears and nose, and if swallowed gastroenteritis, nausea or vomiting.

People who come into contact with contaminated water should wash immediately in fresh water, and seek medical advice if experiencing illness.

Any fish harvested from blue-green algae affected water should have gills and guts removed prior to cooking. People should not eat whole fish, shellfish or crustaceans collected from Lake Charlegrark. The type of algae affecting the lake produces toxins that can concentrate in shellfish and crustaceans, and accumulate in the liver and internal organs of fish. Ingesting blue-green algae toxins can lead to serious illness.

Water from the affected water body should not be used for drinking, cooking or other domestic uses. Boiling the affected water will not make it safe for use.

For any health issues experienced after contact with blue-green algae affected water please seek medical advice immediately.

Irrigators are encouraged to take extra care to avoid spray drift, the pooling of water and inhaling mist from blue-green algae affected water. Affected water should not be sprayed onto leafy vegetables or florets, or allowed to flood pastures.

Pet owners should prevent pets from drinking or having direct contact with contaminated water.

Visitors to the area are advised that they can still enjoy other recreational activities such as bushwalking, boating and sightseeing around the water body.

Members of the public are asked to report any potential blue-green algae blooms to their local water manager.

Parks Victoria will continue to monitor conditions and will remove signage once the lake is safe for use.

More information about blue-green algae is available from Department of Health and Human Services:

Quotes attributable to Zoe Wilkinson, Area Chief Ranger–Parks Victoria:

“Blue-green algae blooms are naturally occurring, appearing when there’s the right combination of temperature, sunlight, stillness and nutrients.”

“While we can’t treat the blue-green algae at Lake Charlegrark, we’ve installed warning signs for visitors and added information on the Parks Victoria website.”

“We’ll continue to monitor the lake and will update our advice once it has naturally cleared, which could be some months from now.”

Media enquiries
Josh Maher
0448 373 986

Parks Victoria media centre