Concerns over black mat algae in High Rock Lake

DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. -- The discovery of black mat algae at High Rock Lake has some lake goers concerned.

“I’ve seen stuff like this over the years on the lake and I’ve seen stuff like this in ponds,” said Neal Conner, who has lived along Hight Rock Lake since 1987.

Conner is an avid kayaker.

“I get on the water every chance I can,” Conner said.

It’s why he became uneasy when he saw a FOX8 report about the danger lurking in the lake.

“I’ve always called it algae but they’ve got a name for it,” Conner said.

Lyngbya wollei — described as black mat algae.

Wednesday, samples tested positive for this cyanobacteria according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

“Saw just a few blobs our on the main channel. Now today we didn’t see any but against the covers and you are starting to see a lot,” Conner said.

N.C. DHHS recommends the following steps to safeguard pets and children from harmful cyanobacterial blooms:

  • Keep children and pets away from waters that appear discolored or scummy.
  • Do not handle or touch large accumulations (“scums” or mats) of algae.
  • Do not water ski or jet ski over algal mats.
  • Do not use scummy water for cleaning or irrigation.
  • If your pet appears to stumble, stagger, or collapse after being in a pond, lake or river, seek veterinary care immediately.
  • If your child appears ill after being in waters containing a bloom, seek medical care immediately.
  • If you are unsure whether or not a bloom is present, it is best to stay out of the water.
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