Algae raises concerns at Pine Flat Reservoir

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- There's plenty of water in Pine Flat Reservoir, but, Andrew Ketchum, a fisherman from Fresno, says it is noticeably greener than usual.

"Yeah, definitely looks a lot greener. last time I was here, it was a lot more clear I could see way deeper in the water, but this time I just couldn't see much."

The green water is the result of an algae bloom, when that happens, Army Corps of Engineers Ranger Jeromy Caldwell is required to issue an alert.

"It's more than we normally see and so with that, we follow the recommendations of the Water Quality Control Board."

Those recommendations include avoiding any significant amounts of algae. Don't swim in it, or drink green water. Keep pets away. Toxins in the algae can cause anything from minor skin irritation to digestive problems, headaches to severe illnesses. But it all depends on what type of algae it is. Testing is underway. But the alert is having an impact on Britt Percival who brought his family up for a day on the lake.

"It's definitely changed our plans for today. We are going to Millerton instead. It's not worth the risk to any of us, the grandkids or anybody getting sick."

Longtime lake visitor Mike Brooks who's from Ventura County, says the water is the greenest he has seen in years but isn't too worried.

"I think people that have come up here over the years and have dealt with it in the past are kind of just going, okay, we'll be alright."

Ranger Caldwell says he is still expecting a good Fathers Day weekend crowd.

"We've got a busy weekend planned we've got an almost full campground and should be a lot of day users enjoying the lake."
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