Newsroom > DHHS News Release

Issued jointly from the
Department of Health and Human Services – Division of Public Health
Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
UN-L Water Quality Extension Program

June 27, 2008

Brian McManus, Department of Environmental Quality, (402) 471-4223
Marla Augustine, HHS Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-4047
Dave Tunink, Game and Parks Commission, (402) 471-5553
Tadd Barrow, UN-L Water Quality Extension, (402) 472-7783


Health Alert Issued for Iron Horse Trail Lake

The state has issued a health alert for toxic blue-green algae at Iron Horse Trail Lake near DuBois in Pawnee County. This is the first health alert issued for the 2008 season. Weekly sampling has been conducted at 47 public lakes in Nebraska since the beginning of May.

Signs are being posted to advise the public to use caution, and the swimming beach at the lake will remain closed during the health alert. Recreational boating and fishing are permitted at the lake, but the public is advised to avoid activities that could involve accidental ingestion of water. People can still use the public areas for camping, picnics and other outdoor activities.

Sampling to date during in the 2008 recreational season has generally shown lower readings for toxic algae than in the previous four years of the weekly public lake sampling program. This may be due in part to the unusually wet weather this season, according to officials at the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality.

The lakes will continue to be monitored weekly throughout the 2008 recreational season. Sampling results for toxic algae and bacteria will be updated every Friday and posted on NDEQ’s web site,

(For more information about potential health effects of toxic blue-green algae, what to look for, and steps to avoid exposure, please refer to the attached pdficon.gif (914 bytes)Fact Sheet.)