Water-Related News

Polk County Dept. of Health issues blue-green algae bloom caution for Tiger Lake

Florida DOH logo

BARTOW (Jan. 18, 2023) – The Florida Department of Health in Polk County is cautioning the public of the presence of a blue-green algae bloom in Tiger Lake – East Shore. Blooms have the potential to produce toxins, and what triggers them to do so remains poorly understood. Since bloom conditions can change at any time, it is important to exercise caution as if the bloom were toxic, even if toxin presence has not yet been confirmed.

Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:

  • You should not drink, swim, wade, water ski or engage in activities that may cause you to come in direct contact with waters where there is a visible bloom.
  • Exercise caution when using personal watercraft or boating in order to avoid stirring up or contacting the algae or the affected water.
  • Avoid getting affected water in your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Wash your skin and clothing with soap and water if you have contact with algae or discolored or smelly water.
  • You should keep pets and livestock away from the waters in this location.
  • Eating fillets from healthy fish caught in freshwater lakes experiencing blooms is safe. Rinse fish fillets with tap or bottled water; throw out the guts and cook fish well.
  • You should not eat shellfish from this location.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and partners collect algae samples from reported bloom locations for toxin analysis. Once completed, the results will be posted on the DEP Algal Bloom Dashboard (link opens in new window), and can also be viewed on the Protecting Florida Together website (link opens in new window) website, where you can sign up to be notified of the latest conditions.