Kern County Public Health Services is issuing a cautionary notice for Kissack Cove at Lake Isabella and in the Keyesville Recreation Area and the Calloway Weir Area in the Kern River effective immediately.
Recent sampling by the State of California Water Resources Control Board indicated the presence of potentially harmful blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) in Lake Isabella and in the Kern River.
The algae bloom appears as bright green in the water with streaks that look like spilled paint. The blooms can also appear as blue-green, white or brown foam, scum or mats that can float on the water and accumulate along the shore. Exposure to blue-green algae can cause rashes, skin and eye irritation, allergic reactions, and gastrointestinal symptoms. At high levels, exposure can result in serious illness or death, according to the California Department of Public Health. For animals, the toxins can cause diarrhea, vomiting, convulsions and death.
Warning signs will be posted around the affected areas in Lake Isabella and the Kern River and will advise:
* Stay away from scum, and cloudy or discolored water.
* Do not use these waters for drinking or cooking* Boiling or filtering will not make the water safe.
* Do not let pets or livestock go into or drink the water, or go near the scum.
* Do not eat shellfish from these waters.
* For fish caught here, throw away guts and clean fillets with tap water or bottled water before cooking.
* Call your doctor or veterinarian if you or your pet get sick after going into the water.
Further testing is being completed.
For more information visit: http://www.mywaterquality.ca.gov/monitoring_council/cyanohab_network/index.html or www.kernpublichealth.com