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The Virginia Department of Health lifted the Algal Mat alerts for the North Fork of the Shenandoah River near the Town of Strasburg for the season.
The Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Task Force suspends operation at the end of October each year as the recreational swimming season ends.
The cooling of water temperatures naturally lowers the concentration of cyanobacteria.
Suspending HAB Task Force response during the cooler months also allows for the conservation of resources to focus on peak recreational use.
The original mat alert began north of Strasburg near Route 644 and continued 11.5 miles near Route 611.
For more information on harmful algal blooms and their effects, click here.
The Virginia Department of Health and Lord Fairfax Health District issued an Algal Mat Alert by email for the North Fork of the Shenandoah River near Strasburg.
The affected area begins at Route 644 and continues for approximately 11.5 miles to Route 611 including the boat ramp at Deer Rapids and other public access points.
Signs have been posted along the shore and at those access points.
Recreation may continue in those areas as long as the algae mats can be avoided.
Pets and livestock are recommended to be kept out of the water to avoid the mats as they may cause gastrointestinal illnesses and skin rashes.
Cyanotoxins levels were below or just above detection levels and contact with the mats can release more toxins.
Consuming cyanotoxins can be fatal for animals.
No disturbances to the town’s drinking water have been observed at this time.