Health Department reports bacteria found in Tuckertown Lake

Published 2:15 pm Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The Stanly County Health Department reports that cyanobacteria has been found in Tuckertown Lake after routine testing by Division of Water Resources, Department of Environmental Quality.

The sample has been confirmed as the bacteria, Lyngbya wollei.

Lyngbya wollei is a filamentous cyanobacteria that is becoming common in North Carolina waterbodies. It tends to form large nuisance growths on the lake bottom which can detach and float to the surface as thick black mats. To the Health Department’s knowledge, this is the first reported incidence on Lyngbya wollei on Tuckertown Lake, but several other North Carolina reservoirs (e.g. Lake Gaston) are actively trying to manage Lyngbya infestations.

N.C. DHHS recommends the following steps to safeguard pets and children from harmful cyanobacterial (blue-green algal) blooms:

• Keep children and pets away from waters that appear discolored or scummy.
• Do not handle or touch large accumulations (“scums” or mats) of algae.

• Do not water ski or jet ski over algal mats.

• Do not use scummy water for cleaning or irrigation.

• If your pet appears to stumble, stagger, or collapse after being in a pond, lake or river,
seek veterinary care immediately.

• If your child appears ill after being in waters containing a bloom, seek medical care

• If you are unsure whether or not a bloom is present, it is best to stay out of the water.