GOODING, Idaho – A health advisory has been issued for Thorn Creek Reservoir due to reported harmful algae bloom (HAB) at the site.

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality and South Central Public Health District issued the advisory today, July 26.

Cyanobacteria – or blue-green algae – are ubiquitous in our environment, reads a news release on Wednesday, but a few species are known to produce toxins that pose a threat to humans and other animals, particularly canines.

“Exposure to cyanobacterial HAB toxins may result in life-threatening problems such as, decreased movement, labored breathing, convulsions, muscle spasms, liver damage, neurological issues, and possible death,” said SCPHD Public Health Program Manager Josh Jensen.

Based on the taxonomic analysis and visual inspection of Thorn Creek Reservoir, DEQ reminds people of the dangers of HAB. The public is advised to take the following precautions:

  • Avoid exposure to water experiencing a harmful algal bloom. Take extra precautions to ensure children, pets, and livestock are not exposed to the water.
  • Pets that are inadvertently exposed should be washed immediately and thoroughly with fresh water taking care not to allow them to clean themselves after exiting the affected water.
  • Do not consume water with a blue-green algae bloom. Neither boiling nor disinfecting removes blue-green algae toxins from water.
  • If fish are known to have been exposed to a blue-green algae bloom, only consume the fillet portion (remove the fat, organs, and skin). Wash hands after handling. The risk associated with consuming fish caught in waters with a blue-green algae bloom is unknown. Toxins produced by blue-green algae can accumulate in the organs of fish.