Hot day weather pic (copy)

Douglas Sanchious, 8, left, and Chase Dawson, 12, jump into Prospect Lake in this Gazette file photo.

Prospect Lake in Memorial Park has been closed indefinitely after a test found toxic blue-green algae in the water, Colorado Springs officials said Friday.

A “precautionary water sample,” taken from the lake Friday morning by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, tested positive for mycrocystin toxin, also known as blue-green algae.

The lake’s swim beach was roped off and closure signs were posted. Fishing areas remain open, but anglers are encouraged to clean the fish and remove guts. Rentals are not available, and pets are not allowed.

“Given today’s positive test for mycrocystin toxin, we have closed Prospect Lake for usage,” said Erik Rodriguez of the city’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services in a statement. “CDPHE will continue to test weekly until the bacteria clears up.”

In the meantime, the city has banned swimming, bathing, paddleboarding, motorized and nonmotorized boats even with permits, tubing and water skiing.

Blue-green algae is common throughout Colorado, but its rapid growth can be harmful to people and animals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among other symptoms, people can experience skin, eye, nose, throat and respiratory irritation from contact with the bacteria, the CDC reports.

Multimedia Journalist

Liz is a multimedia journalist with a specific interest in environment and outdoor recreation. She watches way too much Star Trek and is working toward her rescue scuba divers certification. Liz joined the Gazette staff in 2019.

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