Local News

Algae closes Umstead Park lake

Posted May 14, 2010 10:30 a.m. EDT

— Big Lake at William B. Umstead State Park has been closed to boating and fishing because of the presence of a potentially dangerous blue-green algae, the state Division of Parks and Recreation said Friday.

Signs have been posted at the property to warn visitors that the water in the 25-acre lake, which is accessible from the park’s Glenwood Avenue entrance, contains a type of blue-green algae capable of producing toxins that can be dangerous to humans and pets.

Visitors are warned not to ingest the water, not to allow pets to swim or drink the water and not to allow children to play along the shoreline. Swimming isn't allowed in the lake at any time.

Rangers will regularly patrol the area to inform visitors of the warning.

The presence of the algae, which can emit a strong odor, was confirmed during routine monitoring by the state Division of Water Quality. Biologists with the state parks system are working with the state Division of Water Quality and the Division of Public Health to monitor the lake and try to determine the cause of the algae, officials said.