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Bluestem Lake reopens for swimming following health alert for toxic algae
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Bluestem Lake reopens for swimming following health alert for toxic algae

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Bluestem Lake

Bluestem Lake in Lancaster County has been deemed safe for swimming again after being placed under a health alert for harmful algal blooms last week.

Bluestem Lake in Lancaster County has been deemed safe for swimming again after being placed under a health alert for harmful algal blooms last week.

Johnson Lake in Dawson and Gosper counties was also removed from the health alert Friday, according to a news release from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

On Friday, the state also issued a new health alert for toxic blue-green algae at Swan Creek Lake in Saline County on Friday. Kirkman's Cove Lake in Richardson County also remains under health alert.

Swimming beaches are closed at lakes under a health alert, the release said. Recreational boating and fishing remain permitted, but the public is urged to avoid exposure to the water and prevent pets from going in the water or drinking it.

The state has been conducting weekly sampling at high-traffic public lakes with swimming beaches since the first week of May, and places lakes under health alert if samples measure above the threshold of 8 parts per billion of microcystin, a toxin released by certain strains of blue-green algae.

Harmful algal blooms may also be present in other lakes in the state that aren't tested and the public should use caution if they see signs of algal blooms, the release said.

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Luna Stephens is a journalism student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln who is originally from Lawrence, Kansas and is passionate about the transformative power of journalism.

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