The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has placed Cheney Lake and Marion Reservoir (not Marion County Lake) under a Warning status for toxic blue-green algae, which may be harmful to humans and pets.

Lakes under a Warning are not closed. Marinas, lakeside businesses and park camping facilities are open for business. If swim beaches are closed, it will be specifically noted. Drinking water and showers at parks are safe and not affected by algae blooms. Boating and fishing are safe on lakes under a Warning, but contact with the water in activities such as swimming, wading, or skiing should be avoided.

It is safe to eat fish caught during a harmful blue-green algae outbreak, as long as the fish is rinsed with clean water; only the fillet portion is consumed and all other parts are discarded. Hands should also be washed with clean water after handling fish taken from an affected lake.

Kansans should be aware that blooms are unpredictable. They can develop rapidly and may float around the lake, requiring visitors to exercise their best judgment. If there is scum, a paint-like surface or the water is bright green, avoid contact and keep pets away. These are indications that a harmful bloom may be present. Pet owners should be aware that animals that swim in or drink water affected by a harmful algal bloom or eat dried algae along the shore may become seriously ill or die.

If lake water contacts skin, wash with clean water as soon as possible

KDHE will update these statements as conditions warrant.