5 May 2012

Toxic algae warning for lakes

8:00 am on 5 May 2012

Duck hunters in Canterbury are being warned to avoid two lakes during the duckshooting season, because of toxic algae.

With the opening of the season on Saturday, Canterbury District Health Board is reminding hunters of the toxic algal bloom inTe Waihora/Lake Ellesmere near Christchurch and Lake Rotorua near Kaikoura.

The medical officer of health Ramon Pink says the lakes are still in bloom with concentrations of blue-green algae (planktonic cyanobacteria).

He says people should stay away from them until the warnings are lifted, as exposure could cause respiratory and allergy symptoms.

Dr Pink says the algae are particularly harmful to dogs, but ducks from the lake are fine to cook and eat provided their gut is removed.