ODNR issues water quality warnings at area lake ahead of holiday weekend

CELINA — Ahead of a busy Memorial Day weekend, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has issued a water quality advisory for all four beaches at an area lake.

Bryan Sharpe said he and his family don’t boat at Great Lake St. Marys anymore.

“We used to come as a family, used to come up here and the lake was great,” Sharpe said.

ODNR issued the water quality advisory because of harmful algal bloom toxins.

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“So this is a no-contact advisory. We do not close beaches here in the state of Ohio, but we want to be very transparent, very forthcoming that there is an issue with our water quality at our beaches,” Natalie Foos, ODNR land and water resources administrator said.

Foos said the advisory is because of regular testing the agency does at all state park beaches in partnership with the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio EPA between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

On top of the state’s work, the city of Celina does its own lake water testing.

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“We continually test on a weekly basis for Microsystems as well as other toxins. And our guys do submit that to DNR on a weekly basis,” Jeffrey Hazel, mayor of Celina said.

“We encourage those who are elderly or children compromised not to swim. And we also want to keep pets out of the water because dogs especially are very susceptible to the dangerous potential effects of harmful algal bloom toxins.” Foos said.

ODNR said boating is still okay at the lake and so is fishing.

Foos said there is no advisory against eating fish caught from the lake.

More information about harmful algal blooms can be found on the Ohio EPA’s website here.

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