Cyanobacteria Found in High Rock Lake
The Davidson County Health Department reports that cyanobacteria has been found in High Rock Lake after a complaint was investigated by the NC Department of Health and Human Services Division of Water Sciences Section and the Division of Water Resources, Department of Environmental Quality. The sample has been confirmed as the bacteria, Lyngbya wollei (photo and factsheet attached). Lyngbya wollei is a filamentous cyanobacteria that is becoming common in North Carolina waterbodies. It tends to form large nuisance growths on the lake bottom which can detach and float to the surface as thick black mats. This is the first reported incidence on Lyngbya wollei on High Rock Lake, but several other North Carolina reservoirs (e.g. Lake Gaston) are actively trying to manage Lyngbya infestations.
N.C. DHHS recommends the following steps to safeguard pets and children from harmful cyanobacterial (blue-green algal) blooms:
- Avoid direct skin contact with the mats and to keep dogs and children from swimming/playing near the growths
- Keep away from waters that appear discolored or scummy.
- Do not handle or touch large accumulations (“scums” or mats) of algae.
- Do not water ski or jet ski over algal mats.
- Do not use scummy water for cleaning or irrigation.
- If your pet appears to stumble, stagger, or collapse after being in a pond, lake or river, seek veterinary care immediately.
- If your child appears ill after being in waters containing a bloom, seek medical care immediately.
- If you are unsure whether or not a bloom is present, it is best to stay out of the water.
For more information contact the Rowan County Environmental Health Department at 704-216-8525.
Cyanobacteria FAQs (PDF)
Black Mat Algae Fact Sheet (PDF)