Blue-green algae forming on Lake Winnebago

WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) The Winnebago County Health Department is reminding people to be on the lookout for blue-green algae. It's blooming on lakes across the state, including Lake Winnebago.

The sun, the heat, and the rain leading to nutrient runoff are providing a perfect recipe for blue-green algae to grow this summer season.

"We don't expect that to improve in the near future, especially with the rain coming this weekend," Doug Gieryn, Winnebago County Health Department, said. "So it's really important to be aware of the conditions of the water."

Blue-green algae can contain a variety of colors and look like paint floating in the water.

It can cause a variety of symptoms if touched or ingested by a person or pet, including headaches, vomiting, and rash.

While rare, it can also cause life-threatening symptoms like liver failure.
Where the blooms appear is often dependent on wind conditions.\
"The water conditions change daily and sometimes by the hour," Gieryn said. "So just check out the area that you're going to recreate in and make sure that it's safe and check it in the time period that you're there."

The state simply says if you're in doubt about whether you'll be swimming in blue-green algae then stay out.