Blue green algae is back at popular Lake Afton

Local

Lake Afton is off-limits for now — at least the water.

Blue green algae is back at the popular Kansas lake in Sedgwick County.

” I hate it. I won’t be in the water. Not my dogs, my kids, nobody,” says camper, Doug Briant. “But it’s still nice to come out and enjoy the scenery.”

So Doug continues to get his camper and gear all ready for a family outing near the lake.

There are now signs at entrances to the lake and at campsites, not everyone apparently saw the signs. When KSN toured the lake, we found a family wading in the water. After they found out about the blue green algae warning, they immediately got out.

Others say the signs were easy to see. Doug Crawford from Colorado came to Lake Afton to fish for the day.

“I like to come out here from Colorado and catch some catfish every once in a while. A little bit better eating than trout,” says Crawford. “Just stay out of the water. Be careful. Don’t touch anything. They said when you catch the fish, don’t keep the skin on them. Just fillet it and you’ll be alright.”

KDHE recommends to first clean the fish well with fresh water. Then “clean” the fish and discard the guts.

On the other side of the lake, the annual Law Camp was wrapping up. Law Camp is a chance for mentors to teach young kids life skills.

Having seen blue green algae at Lake Afton a couple of years ago, they had the water tested before letting kids into the water. Turns out no kids were allowed in the lake at all this year.

“On Monday it (blue green algae test) came back negative as well but as a precaution, because of the way the water looked, we opted to use pools instead of putting anybody in the water,” says Mary Mattingly, one of the coordinators of the camp. “Strictly as a precaution. Obviously we found out now it was the right choice.”

Mattingly says they bought above-ground swimming pools for the kids, and the fire department brought out the pools.

“This is a huge volunteer effort,” says Mattingly. “I have to give props to the fire department. They filled the pools… and topped them off.”

For those camping for the weekend, they know water sports are out of the question. Many just don’t seem to mind.

“Doesn’t matter,” says Briant. “We’re out. Enjoy a good time with the family as we all get together this weekend. So we’re doing good no matter what.”

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported Blue Green Algae at Lake Afton Park requiring a warning for the entire lake.

Effective immediately, the lake will be closed for all water contact which includes swimming and water skiing.

Fishing is permitted, but any fish kept for consumption should be prepared using the guidelines set by KDHE.

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