Here you will find the latest on the Blue Green Algae found in Grand Lake in June of 2017.

As the publisher of this website, I just want to make it clear that I’m sharing information directly from the Grand River Dam Authority and I’m not telling you one way or another what to do when it comes to swimming, fishing or being around Grand Lake.

This appears to be a very isolated incident and based on all the people that have been out on the main portion of the lake over the past several days having a big time tubing and skiing and boarding and more, there is not any reason to be concerned.

GRDA even says so themselves. To quote GRDA Vice President of Corporate Communications Justin Alberty, “There are many other areas and recreational opportunities on this lake for the public to come and enjoy,” he said. “We encourage everyone to come out to Grand but please be aware of the advisories for these specific areas.”

I myself have had a great few days out riding around on the pwc, and don’t have any plans to change that.

But, GRDA also has an obligation to keep you informed and, as a publisher of a Grand Lake specific website, I have an obligation to pass that info on to you.

It’s also worth noting that one of the GRDA core missions is water quality and environmental stewardship. You can find out a little more about that HERE and HERE.

If you see a BGA bloom, the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality recommends that you avoid all contact with the water, keep your pets and livestock away from the water and immediately contact DEQ at 800-522-0206 or GRDA at 918-256-0911.

To find out more about Blue Green Algae, check out THIS FACT SHEET from the Oklahoma DEQ.

Soooo…here you go. These are press releases listed in order (most recent is the first you’ll see) so you can track the information provided by GRDA related to the finding of BGA at Grand Lake.

For immediate release: 6/29/17 

Following most recent water sampling result …

GRDA removes all BGA advisories for Grand Lake

Langley = The Grand River Dam Authority is reporting that the most recent results from its water sample testing in Grand and Hudson Lakes have shown a negligible presence of blue green algae (BGA) toxins. Due to these results, GRDA is removing its public swim advisories for Grand Lake.

“We want to thank the public and the lake community for all the cooperation during these advisories,” said GRDA Vice President of Corporate Communications Justin Alberty. “We will continue our regular monitoring efforts across the lakes but based on the most recent tests we believe it is safe to remove the advisories.”

Those advisories had been in place for the Fly Creek and Highway 85A bridge areas of Grand Lake. No BGA blooms have been confirmed in any other area of the lakes. While GRDA continues to monitor water quality on both Grand and Hudson, algae blooms are dynamic and develop rapidly. It is recommended that individuals avoid swimming or participating in water recreational activities in areas where the water is discolored or where you see foam, scum or mats of algae on the water. The public is asked to report these areas of concern to GRDA at 918-256-0911.

“We expect both Grand and Hudson lakes to be in really good shape for the upcoming July 4 holiday,” said Alberty. “We encourage the public to come out and have a great time.”

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For immediate release: 6/25/17 

GRDA reports BGA conditions improving

Langley — The Grand River Dam Authority is reporting that the most recent results from water sample testing in Grand Lake has shown a significant decrease in levels of bluegreen algae (BGA) toxins.

Those results are from water samples gathered Friday morning (June 23) from the Fly Creek and Highway 85A bridge areas of the lake. Both areas are currently under a BGA advisory. According to the GRDA Ecosystems Management Department the results demonstrate an improvement in the BGA outbreak, as conditions continue to improve. However, at this time, the advisories in place for these areas of the lake remain in place.

“We’re very encouraged by what we have seen in the most recent test results,” said GRDA Vice President of Corporate Communications Justin Alberty. “We hope we will be able to lift the advisories soon, but for the time being we do ask the public to continue to use caution in these areas of the lake.”

Alberty again stressed that all other areas of Grand Lake are free of any advisories and the public is encourage to come and enjoy the lake. GRDA will also continue its water sampling for as long as conditions warrant.

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For immediate release: 6/21/17

GRDA expanding blue green algae advisory

Langley, OK – The Grand River Dam Authority Ecosystems Management Department is reporting that its latest water testing has confirmed the presence of blue green algae (BGA) in an area of Grand Lake just south of the Highway 85A bridge over Horse Creek and extending near the shoreline of Grand Lake State Park at Bernice. Due to these results, GRDA is advising the public to avoid bodily contact with water in this area. The BGA advisory, issued last Friday for the Fly Creek area of the lake, also remains in place.

“We’re expanding our advisory to this area due to our latest water sampling results,” said GRDA Vice President of Corporate Communications Justin Alberty. “We’re asking the public to take precautions and avoid contact with the water in the Fly Creek and areas of Horse Creek around the Highway 85A bridge.”

Alberty did stress that BGA has only been confirmed in these areas of Grand Lake and the overwhelming majority of the lake is not impacted by these advisories. “There are many other areas and recreational opportunities on this lake for the public to come and enjoy,” he said. “We encourage everyone to come out to Grand but please be aware of the advisories for these specific areas.”

It is recommended that individuals avoid swimming or participating in water recreational activities in areas where the water is discolored or where you see foam, scum or mats of algae on the water.

BGA may resemble thick pea soup, green paint or bluish, brownish or reddish-green paint. When BGA washes up on shore, it can form a thick mat on the beach. BGA can reproduce rapidly in water bodies with adequate amounts of sunlight and nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen.

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For immediate release: 6/17/17 

Following Saturday sampling …

GRDA reports BGA level in Fly Creek arm of Grand remains high

Langley – The Grand River Dam Authority is reporting that the most recent results from water sample testing in the Fly Creek arm of Grand Lake have shown that the level of blue green algae (BGA) remains high in that area.

Those results are from water samples gathered by the GRDA Ecosystems Management Department on Saturday morning, June 17.

GRDA first reported the presence of BGA with microcystins levels greater than 100 micrograms per liter, on Friday June 16. BGA at densities more than 100,000 cells per milliliter with more than 20 micrograms per liter of microcystins is considered toxic.

The public advisory to avoid bodily contact with water in the Fly Creek area of Grand Lake remains in place. All other areas of Grand Lake are open, with no advisories in place. GRDA will continue to monitor the Fly Creek area on a daily basis, as long as conditions warrant.

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For immediate release: 6/16/17

GRDA confirms presence of Blue-Green Algae in Fly Creek

Langley, OK – The Grand River Dam Authority Ecosystems Management’s water lab has confirmed the presence of high levels of blue green algae (BGA) in a small area of Fly Creek (off the Horse Creek Arm of Grand Lake), near Bernice. Tests of the BGA showed microcystin toxin levels greater than 100 micrograms per liter with estimated counts of 577,000 cells per milliliter. BGA with more than 20 micrograms per liter of microcystin and more than 100,000 cells per milliliter is considered toxic. GRDA is advising the public to avoid bodily contact with water in the Fly Creek area.

GRDA discovered the BGA in Fly Creek during routine aerial shoreline surveillance on Friday, June 16. Subsequent water samples, taken from the area by the GRDA Ecosystems Management Department, confirmed the presence of BGA. GRDA regularly monitors water quality and checks for the presence of BGA, as well as other water quality issues. GRDA conducts tests on a monthly basis and twice per month from May to August, when recreational activity on lakes and rivers is at its peak.

“While most BGA are not toxic, toxins can be produced in some algae blooms,” said Justin Alberty, spokesperson for GRDA. “We have communicated these test results to the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department, the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, and the Oklahoma Water Resources Board. We are closely monitoring the area and will provide updates throughout the weekend as the situation progresses.”

It is recommended that individuals avoid swimming or participating in water recreational activities in areas where the water is discolored or where you see foam, scum or mats of algae on the water. BGA may resemble thick pea soup, green paint or bluish, brownish or reddish-green paint. When BGA washes up on shore, it can form a thick mat on the beach. BGA can reproduce rapidly in water bodies with adequate amounts of sunlight and nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen.

According to the Oklahoma Department of Health, exposure to BGA can cause skin irritation, including rashes, hives or blisters. Inhalation of BGA can also trigger asthma-like conditions or allergic reactions. Finally, inhalation of BGA water can cause stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea or vomiting. Due to their body size, young children are especially susceptible to the effects of BGA. It is also important to keep pets from drinking water containing BGA water.

Municipalities that draw raw water from this area should be taking the necessary steps to ensure the quality of their water by utilizing their water treatment systems, and lake residents who draw water from this area should avoid consumption of and contact with the water until further notice. Simply boiling water that may contain BGA does not remove the toxins from the water.

“At this time, we just want the public to take precautions to avoid physical contact with the water in the Fly Creek area of the lake,” said Alberty. “We will continue to post updates as we continue to sample through the weekend. The rest of Grand Lake is wide open for business, so we encourage everyone to continue on with the weekend lake outings.”