Fontana algal bloom keeps growing

A potentially harmful algal bloom continues to grow in parts of Fontana Lake, and state officials are warning people to avoid touching it.

First seen in the Tuckasegee arm of the lake in early August, the bloom was reported below the Bryson City 288 boat ramp, mostly along the shoreline but visible in open water. Blooms may be present in other parts of the lake as well.

The plant is a filamentous bluegreen algae of two species — Aphanizomenon and Anabaen. It may produce toxins that pose a health risk. Water quality specialists out of Asheville will continue monitoring conditions.

No adverse health effects have been reported, and while it’s safe to boat and fish in affected areas, people should prevent children and pets from swimming or ingesting water in an algal bloom.

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