Portions of Abiquiu Lake reopened

Published Aug. 15, 2019

ABIQUIU LAKE, N.M. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque District, announced today that the lake has reopened except for swimming along the Cerrito Recreation Area shoreline. Open areas include the boat ramp and land areas within the Cerrito Day-Use Recreation Area. However, the swim beach is still closed and swimming along the Cerrito shoreline is not allowed due to the presence of a toxic blue-green algae bloom.

Signs informing the public that swimming is not allowed along the shoreline until further notice have been posted along the Cerrito Recreation Area shoreline.

The restrictions are condition-dependent on further testing of the water.

The campgrounds and the downstream Rio Chama Day-Use Area below the dam are still open for public use. 

Due to the presence of toxic blue-green algae, it is advised to be aware and cautious during all water recreation at the lake, including swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing, and water skiing.

Fish caught at Abiquiu Lake may be eaten, however it’s advised to do so in moderation and to avoid eating the guts of the fish, where accumulation of toxins may occur.

Blue-green algae blooms, or cyanobacteria, can cause health risks in humans and pets if ingested, inhaled or touched. Small children and animals are at the greatest health risk because they weigh less and can get a relatively larger dose of toxin. Dogs are particularly susceptible because algae scums can attach to their coats and be swallowed during self-cleaning.

Skin exposures can give people a rash, hives or skin blisters.

Breathing in water droplets during activities like water-skiing and swimming can cause runny eyes and nose, a sore throat, asthma-like symptoms or allergic reactions.

Swallowing water can cause stomach symptoms to occur within hours or days after an exposure, including abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting. Neurotoxicity symptoms can appear within 15 to 20 minutes after exposure.

In humans, symptoms can include numb lips, tingling fingers and toes, dizziness, and in extremely rare cases death.

In dogs, symptoms can include drooling, weakness, staggering, difficulty breathing, convulsions and death.

For any health issues experienced after contact with blue-green algae affected water please seek medical advice immediately.

The USACE, Albuquerque District will distribute the latest information on their website, www.spa.usace.army.mil, their Facebook account, https://www.facebook.com/AbiquiuLakeUSACE/ and through the local news media as well as the project office at Abiquiu Lake.


Elizabeth Lockyear

Release no. 19-011