Bath Lake closed due to blue-green algae

Bath Lake closed due to blue-green algae

MEDICINE PARK, Okla. (TNN) - Pools and lakes are the places to be on hot summer days when you want to cool off. But those visiting Medicine Park’s Bath Lake have been out of luck... It is closed due to blue-green algae in the water.

Deann Johnson and her family drove three hours from their home in Melissa, Texas, to visit Medicine Park. It was their first trip to the area.

“It looked like a little resort town with lots of fun shops and fun places to see,” said Deann Johnson. “We thought this would be a fun day trip, so we headed on up here. But unfortunately, it’s all closed down today.”

Blue-green algae was found in Bath Lake on Friday evening, and it has been closed since.

“It’s really sad that all the people are coming here and wanting to swim and hang out for the day and they can’t," said Kim Johnson, Bath Lake supervisor. "So, yeah, it was pretty sad this weekend, pretty quiet.”

Kim Johnson said they have not had many problems with blue-green algae in the past.

“This year it’s because the gates are closed really tight at Lawtonka, so we don’t have any water flow coming in," said Kim Johnson. "Now that it’s not raining as much, we even have less water flow. So, in some places here it gets kind of stagnant.”

Blue-green algae can be dangerous for people.

“It can cause respiratory problems and stomach problems if you swallow it," said Kim Johnson. "Not being in the water necessarily, but some people kind of take a drink of water, here and there while they’re swimming and it can make them sick.”

It can also affect the wildlife.

“There’s not enough oxygen in the water. There’s not enough food for the fish, so it kills the fish," said Kim Johnson. "It hasn’t done too much damage on the snakes, but we have found a few dead fish.”

This week’s triple digit temperatures would be the perfect time to jump in, if the lake were not closed.

“We’re doing what we can right now to try to get some water flowing through here and get some fresh water in and see if we can clean it up,” said Kim Johnson.

In the meantime, Deann Johnson and her family decided to make the most of their trip.

“It is a beautiful area, regardless," said Deann Johnson. "We’ll walk around and see what we can find to do and have a picnic maybe, and then maybe we’ll find something else to do.”

Unfortunately, there is not a specific date yet for when Bath Lake will reopen to the public. Johnson said they hope it will be within the next few days.

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