The City is of Casper is restricting access to the water at the Lake McKenzie dog park due to an ongoing investigation of what may be a harmful cyanobacteria bloom, according to a news release on Friday.

This week, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality began investigating the bloom after parks department staff reported a small concentration of an algae-like substance in a contained area of the lake.

Next week, the DEQ will test samples of the substance to determine if it is a harmful cyanobacterial bloom.

The blooms look similar to algae.

The DEQ says cyanobacteria can produce toxins and other irritants that can cause adverse health effects in people and animals including rashes, itching, numbness, fatigue, disorientation, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. The toxins can be fatal. Blooms also may cause fish kills due to depleted oxygen levels.

As a precautionary measure, the city has fenced off the water around Lake McKenzie, 1691 Bryan Stock Trail.

City of Casper.
City of Casper.

However, the trails and surrounding areas remain open.

Parks Supervisor Katy Hallock said the threat to the public is minor, but she encouraged pet owners to watch their dogs closely to ensure they aren’t able to dig through fencing and access the water.

“The City of Casper is working closely with Wyoming DEQ to keep Lake McKenzie a safe, beautiful place for families,” Hallock said. “Right now, we’re asking that everyone stay away from the water until we know more. It’s warmer when you’re dry on shore, anyway."

To learn more about harmful cyanobacteria blooms, visit the Wyoming DEQ's website.

The City of Casper is adhering to all DEQ protocols and will report sample results when they become available.

Chad Hansen Wild Horse Photography

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