Blue-green algae found in Pigeon Lake

Blue-green algae is hitting Alberta lakes, but the toxin-carrying bacteria have not yet been found in any bodies of water in Central Alberta.

Blue-green algae is hitting Alberta lakes, but the toxin-carrying bacteria have not yet been found in any bodies of water in Central Alberta.

Alberta Health Services issued an advisory regarding the presence of blue-green algae in Pigeon Lake on Wednesday.

Pigeon is the seventh lake AHS has identified as being affected in 2013.

The bacteria — blue-green algae is not actually classified as an algae — produce a toxin that can lead to serious illness in humans or animals who drink or have skin contact with water containing the toxin. The advisory instructed people to avoid drinking or swimming in the affected waters.

The advisory also said people may wish to limit their consumption of fish from this lake.

Studies of fish from Pigeon Lake last year found that their muscle tissue did not contain much of the toxin, but it is yet unclear how much of the toxin is present in other parts of the fish.