Sundance Times - Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

New signage warns of toxic blooms


November 10, 2022


Conservation Resource Coordinator Jessica Halverson presents the new signage to Keyhole State Park Superintendent Greg Deveraux.

Crook County Natural Resource District has teamed up with Keyhole State Park to purchase and install signage that will educate the public about the dangers of harmful cyanotoxins caused by cyanobacteria algae blooms.

The signs were delivered to the park's superintendent, Greg Deveraux, last week – a timely moment to install them, as it turns out, because the bloom advisory changed to a toxin advisory on October 27.

According to the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, advisories are issued by the Wyoming Department of Health when cyanobacterial cell densities or cyanotoxin concentrations pose a risk to swimmers and those coming into contact with the water.

Dense concentrations of this cyanobacteria are often referred to as "blue-green algae" and pose a health risk to humans, as well as to pets and livestock. These effects range from rashes and itching to numbness, fatigue, disorientation, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea, and in extreme cases can cause death.

A bloom advisory means that the blooms are present and toxins may also be present. A toxin advisory is issued when those toxins exceed recreational thresholds.

The signs to be installed at Keyhole provide useful information for recreationists who may not be familiar with the potential danger posed by the blooms. They offer advice to spot the blooms and protect against harmful effects, such as to avoid coming into contact with green water or floating scums or clumps, rinsing fish and not allowing pets or livestock to drink water nearby.

The signs will only be posted when an advisory has been issued at the reservoir.


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