Bacteria In Water Forces Closure Of Popular Treasure Valley Recreation Spot

Jul 19, 2018

Fishing, swimming, standup paddleboarding: Eagle Island State Park has it all. It also now has blue-green algae, a kind of bacteria that’s dangerous to people and pets.

Idaho State Parks Department decided Wednesday to limit water access in the park until the state can be sure the bacteria is gone. In a press release, the agency says it’s a proactive measure to keep people safe.
The bacteria can form because of a variety of conditions, including temperature, pH levels and water flow. Sunlight is especially important in its growth, as it’s a photosynthetic bacteria. The algae blooms can create surface scum or even foam in water. That’s dangerous, because exposure can come through inhalation, ingestion or skin contact. Skin irritation and upset stomach are signs of possible exposure.   
The Department of Environmental Quality will monitor Eagle Island for the bacteria, before giving the all-clear to recreationists. There’s one other algae advisory in the state: that one is in the Little Camas Reservoir north of Mountain Home.

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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