HIGH temperatures and no significant recent rain in the Gympie region have triggered a massive blue-green algae bloom on Borumba Dam, which has forced authorities to close it to all water activity just a week out from the Australia Day long weekend.
The local fish stocking group and an Imbil business heavily reliant on fishing activity said yesterday they were devastated at the news and would be lobbying seqwater to at least allow boating and fishing on the water.
The strict closure imposed on Thursday night prohibits all water-based recreation activities, including swimming and waterskiing, boating, kayaking, canoeing and sailing.
Lake Borumba Stocking Group spokesman Graham Walker said yesterday the dam was the Imbil area’s biggest drawcard and closing it to all activity seemed to him to be “a bit extreme”.
The group, which sources fingerlings for the dam, relies on fees paid by fishermen to fund the stocking.
“We would like them to just relax it to still allow boating and kayaking and fishing,” he said.
“This would still allow some tourism into the Valley.”
Graeme Rummler, the owner of Imbil’s Borumba Fishing N Outdoors store, is “devastated” at the decision.
Blue-green algae and floods shut Borumba to activity for three months last year and it had a major impact on his business.
“About the same time last year they did the same thing just coming up to the long weekend,” he said.
Mr Rummler asked seqwater to reopen the dam to boating and fishing over Australia Day and they did, closing it again the day after.
But they have told him this year the bloom is so severe that will not be happening.
“They said ‘it’s more severe than last year and there is absolutely no way anything is going to be on the water for some time’,” he said.
Algal blooms can rapidly occur under the right conditions – an increase in nutrient levels, high sunlight, warm water temperatures, and stagnant conditions.
Certain species of blue-green algae release toxins that pose a potential health risk to livestock, bird life, fish, dogs and humans.
They can also discolour the water and create an unsightly and often smelly scum on the surface.
If ingested, symptoms include nausea, headache, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, gastroenteritis, muscle weakness and, in extreme cases, pneumonia and paralysis. Contact with the body has been found to cause skin, throat, ear and eye irritations.
Photo: CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE: Borumba Dam is once again closed because of blue-green algae.
View original article at: Borumba Dam closed due to massive blue-green algae bloom