ENVIRONMENT

Swimming advisory lifted in second area of Lake Hopatcong

BY Julie Daurio, Producer |

Swimmers can safely wade into another part of Lake Hopatcong without fear of blue-green algae.

The Department of Environmental Protection has lifted a swimming advisory on Henderson Cove in the lake’s northwest corner. That area is next to Indian Harbor, the first portion of the lake to reopen to swimmers last Friday following the discovery of a massive harmful algal bloom in late June.

The DEP is warning residents to avoid swimming or coming in contact with water in the rest of the state’s largest lake, which is still experiencing bacteria levels above the state’s advisory threshold of 20,000 cells per milliliter.

Exposure to the blooms, which are actually the algae-like growth cyanobacteria, can cause reactions including skin rashes and eye irritation, while ingesting contaminated water could lead to abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.

Blue-green algae has also led to a swimming advisory at Greenwood Lake since mid-July, where one water sample registered cyanobacteria levels 10 times greater than the state’s advisory threshold.

Boating and other activities that don’t involve water contact are not restricted, but the DEP suggests avoiding watersports such as jet-skiing, water-skiing, paddle-boarding, canoeing and kayaking.