Public Health Officials Issue Advisory for Hells Canyon Reservoir
(KLIX) — If you’re planning a trip to Hells Canyon anytime soon, be aware that a health advisory has been issued for the reservoir.
Southwest District Health (SWDH) and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality issued the advisory for Hells Canyon Reservoir, from Cooper Creek down to Hells Canyon Dam, because of high concentrations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria that can turn into harmful algal blooms.
Three health advisories have been issued this summer at Magic Valley waters: Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir, Mormon Reservoir and Magic Reservoir.
Public health officials — who say harmful algae blooms can vary in appearance, usually have a foul, and typically do not bloom in cooler temperatures — urge people to take the following precautions:
- Avoid swimming, wading, or other activities. Take extra precautions to ensure children, pets, and livestock are not exposed to the water.
- Do not drink or cook with water containing a bloom. Boiling and filtering the water can increase the risk.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after handling fish caught in water experiencing a bloom. Any fish caught should be cleaned and washed thoroughly in uncontaminated water and any internal organs disposed of before consumption. If people choose to eat fish from this area, filet the fish and remove all of the fat, skin, and organs before cooking.
- Clean with potable water as soon as possible if water contacts skin or pet fur.
“Symptoms of cyanotoxin exposure include rashes, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, and/or wheezing,” according to the agencies. “More severe symptoms affecting the liver and nervous system may result from ingesting water. If symptoms persist, consult your healthcare provider.”