issued jointly from the
Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services – Division of Public Health
Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

Brian McManus, Department of Environmental Quality, (402) 471-4223
Leah Bucco-White, HHSS Communications, (402) 471-9356
Dave Tunink, Game and Parks Commission, (402) 471-5553
For Immediate Release
September 19, 2014

Health Alert Issued for Lone Star Lake; Alerts Continue at Big Indian Creek Lake, Kirkman’s Cove; Iron Horse Trail Lake and Willow Creek Lake

Health alerts for toxic blue-green algae are currently in effect at five lakes in Nebraska. An alert has been issued for Lone Star Lake in Fillmore County. Alerts continue at Big Indian Creek Lake in Gage County, Kirkman’s Cove in Richardson County, Iron Horse Trail Lake in Pawnee County, and Willow Creek Lake in Pierce County.

Samples taken earlier this week indicated Lone Star, Big Indian Creek, Iron Horse Trail, and Willow Creek lakes were above the state’s health alert threshold of 20 parts per billion (ppb) of total microcystin (a toxin released by certain strains of blue-green algae.) Although Kirkman’s Cove was below the threshold, it continues to be on alert this week, because the lake had high readings last week. Lakes that are on health alert must have two consecutive weeks of readings below the threshold before the alert is discontinued.

When a health alert is issued, signs are posted to advise the public to use caution, and designated swimming beaches are closed during the alert. Recreational boating and fishing are permitted, but the public is advised to avoid activities that could involve accidental ingestion of water and to avoid full immersion in water. People can still use the public areas for camping, picnics and other outdoor activities.

The lakes will continue to be monitored weekly throughout the 2014 recreational season. Sampling results for toxic algae and bacteria will be updated every Friday and posted on NDEQ’s web site,

(For more information about potential health effects of toxic blue-green algae, what to look for, and steps to avoid exposure, please refer to the attached Fact Sheet.)