‘It’s heartbreaking, not to mention scary’: Blue-green algae found in Rose Lake

CATALDO, Idaho — With the number of lakes in our region, toxic algae blooms aren’t that unusual. Toxic algae bloom at this time of year is unusual though.

The Department of Environmental Quality issued an advisory for harmful algae blooms in Rose Lake, warning people to stay out of the water entirely.

It was the community members at Rose Lake who took it upon themselves to not only get the water tested but to notify the public as well.

“I spent all my life out here in the summers,” Kate Bowerman, who lives on the lake told us. “The past summer has just been mindblowing,” she added, referring to the algae blooms.

She’s seen the harmful algae bloom in the past, but it was never like it is now.

Bowerman lives at the lake full time now, within a tight-knit community along the lake. They came together to try to get answers and started by reaching out to the DEQ.

“We can’t physically be at all the lakes at once during the entire recreation season so we rely a lot on the people that are there every day seeing what is happening. Calling into us and telling us what the conditions are,” Dan McCracken, the Regional Administrator for DEQ, explained to us.

Ultimately, Bowerman decided to take in a water sample herself. The DEQ told us, they appreciate the resources.

After confirmation of the blue-green algae, they issued an advisory this past week.

Bowerman was given the posters to put up around the lake herself and she says, she’s not upset. She appreciates the opportunity to be a steward of the environment.

The overarching message from the DEQ is when in doubt, stay out.

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