FDOH Issues Toxic Algal Bloom Alert at Whitey’s Fish Camp on Fleming Island – Action News Jax


CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Something is blooming in water, and it’s not flowers.

Toxic algae has been discovered at Swimming Pen Creek or Whitey’s Fish Camp on Fleming Island, health officials said.

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The Florida Department of Health has issued a health alert following the discovery of blue-green algae. Residents and visitors are urged to exercise caution in the area.

Blue-green algae is a type of bacteria often found in Florida’s freshwater environments. Flowering is likely to occur in summer and fall.

Algae can produce toxins that are harmful to humans and aquatic animals.

Due to the dangers of blue-green algae, the FDOH has issued the following precautions:

  • Do not drink, swim, wade, use a personal watercraft, water ski or boat in waters where there is visible bloom.
  • Wash your skin and clothes with soap and water if you come into contact with algae, discolored or smelly water.
  • Keep pets away from the area. Water with algal blooms is not safe for animals. Pets and livestock should have a different water source in case of algae blooms.
  • Do not cook or clean dishes with water contaminated with algae blooms. Boiling water will not remove toxins.
  • Eating fillets of healthy fish caught in freshwater lakes that experience blooms is safe. Rinse the fish fillets with tap or bottled water, discard the casings and cook the fish thoroughly.
  • Do not eat shellfish in waters with algal blooms.

If you see an algae bloom, you can report it by calling the Florida Department of Environmental Protection at 855-305-3903. If you have been exposed to it, call 800-222-1222 to speak to a poison specialist.

To learn more about the health effects of blue-green algae blooms, Click here.

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