Algae alert lifted for Menindee Lakes

Authorities have lifted a red alert for blue-green algae levels in the Menindee Lakes area that has been in place for five months.

In February water users were advised… the algal blooms had reached dangerous levels in the lakes area, and that contact with water including fishing should be avoided.

But the Deputy Water Commissioner Bruce Cooper says the latest tests have revealed the water is safe to use again.

He says the red alert has now been downgraded to amber as well as green in some areas.

“Our latest advice, having talked to locals and various council over the last couple of days, is that the blooms that were present in the lakes are not there at the moment,” he said.

“We’re lifting those alerts so that’s a good thing for users of those systems.”

Mr Cooper says it is not surprising the red alert has been downgraded given the colder temperatures.

“I think it’s a combination of water coming in but also the environmental conditions, the climate and everything else,” he said.

“When things are cold, algae doesn’t grow anywhere near as fast and so other things out-compete it.”

Fishers unaware of algae alert

The West Darling Fishing Club says it was never made aware of the red alert and has been fishing in the lakes all year.

The president Robert Bosch says the club usually avoids fishing if algae is present, but it has heard no talk, or seen signposting, of the alert.

“That’s why I was surprised when you said there was an algae alert, because I don’t think I’d seen it in the paper and I would’ve remembered it,” he said.

Mr Bosch says they take algae alerts very seriously.

“The club definitely would’ve gone up there if we knew there was an algae alert,” he said.

“The fishing club’s been up there quite few times since February and we’ve had no sign of algae.

“The river was in bad condition, it was very murky and there was a mixture between the old water that’s come down from above Wilcannia. But signs of blue-green algae, we haven’t seen any.”

Gavin Coote, ABC

View original article at: Algae alert lifted for Menindee Lakes

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