CAMAS COUNTY, Idaho – A public health advisory has been issued for Mormon Reservoir.

South Central Public Health District (SCPHD) and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued the advisory Thursday due to harmful algal bloom (HAB) at the reservoir.

“These toxins aren’t safe for humans or animals,” Craig Paul, SCPHD Environmental Health Division director, said in a statement.  “Eye, ear, and skin irritations are most common in people who touch the water but it can be much more serious for animals.”

The district said HABs are not unusual in warm summer months and typically shrink as the water temperature drops in mid to late fall.

This is the second health advisory issued for a reservoir in south-central Idaho, according to information from SCPHD. The first was issued on July 8 for Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir.

SCPHD and DEQ urge the public to take the following steps to protect their health when visiting either reservoir:

  • Avoid exposure to water in reservoirs under a HAB health advisory. Make sure children, pets, and livestock are not exposed to the water.
  • Do not drink water with a HAB advisory. Boiling and disinfecting DO NOT remove toxins from water.
  • Do not allow pets to eat dried algae.
  • If fishing in HAB water, remove all fat, skin, and organs before cooking. Toxins are more likely to collect in those tissues. Wash hands after handling.