COCHITI LAKE, N.M. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque District, announced today that effective immediately the Cochiti swim beach is closed due to the presence of a toxic blue-green algae bloom in the lake.
Other recreation areas remain open, including the boat ramps and the campgrounds.
The closure will last until levels no longer pose an increased threat to humans and animals.
Closure signs are posted at the recreation area entrance, the boat ramps, the swim beach gate, the campground host office, and on all bulletin boards.
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 Cochiti 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 page, https://www.facebook.com/USACE.Cochiti.Lake/ and through the local news media as well as the project office at Cochiti Lake.