Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)


KDHE has established the following recommendations for a Watch, Warning, or Hazard. However, Kansans should be aware that blooms are unpredictable. They can develop rapidly and may move across a waterbody due to wind or current, so visitors must exercise their best judgment. KDHE does not have the authority to close a lake. KDHE provides recommendations regarding health advisories based on analytical results.  Click here to see KDHE's full response plan.

Monitoring for algal blooms is concurrent with the water recreation season, which is April 1 – October 31. For those advisories that are still active after October 31, KDHE relies on lake managers to monitor changing conditions.

The public is encouraged to stay informed and aware of algal blooms year round. Exposure to Harmful Algal Blooms, whether through contact or ingestion, can cause illness and even death in animals as well as humans. Do not allow livestock, pets, or working animals such as hunting dogs to drink from HAB-affected waters, eat dried scum on shorelines, or lick their fur after exposure.

If a person or animal becomes ill after suspected exposure to an algal bloom, consult medical or veterinary care providers immediately, and report the event to the Epidemiology Hotline, which is active year round at 877-427-7317, KDHE.EpiHotline@ks.gov or online.


General Information

KDHE samples public use lakes only in response to complaints of human or animal illness or visual sighting of possible blue-green algae by the public or lake officials.
For KDHE to respond to a blue-green algae sighting, the request from the public must be made through the online Algae Bloom Reporting Form.

There are three types of advisories:

WATCH WARNING HAZARD

Harmful algae is POSSIBLE AND MAY BE PRESENT

 •   Signage will be posted at all public access locations
 •   Water may be unsafe for humans/ animals
 •   Avoid areas of algae accumulation and do not let people/pets eat dried algae or drink contaminated water
 •   Swimming, wading, skiing, and jet skiing are discouraged near visible blooms
 •   Boating and fishing are safe. However, inhalation of the spray may affect some individuals. Avoid direct contact with water, and wash with clean water after any contact.
 •   Clean fish well with potable water and eat fillet portion only

Harmful algae is EXPECTED OR PRESENT

All of the recommendations of the Public Health Watch remain in effect, with the following addition:

 •   All contact with water, including fishing and boating, should be avoided

Harmful algae is PRESENT AND EXTREME CONDITIONS EXIST

It is recommended that either a portion of the lake, entire lake, or zone, be closed and in some cases the adjacent land (e.g., approximately 100 ft. from the shoreline) be closed to the public. Actual setback distances will be determined on a site-specific basis, if necessary. When partial closures (i.e., beach or cove) are issued, the remaining lake or zone area will carry a warning status.


Some lakes have more than one management area, or "zone." Click on the lake name to see the zones for the following lakes: Milford, Perry, and Tuttle.

Milford Lake Zones
Milford Lake Zones
Perry Lake Zones
Perry Lake Zones
Tuttle Lake Zones
Tuttle Lake Zones

To hear advisories, call the HAB hotline at
785-296-1664