Swimmers at Marshall Beach unfazed by reports of blue-green alga - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Swimmers at Marshall Beach unfazed by reports of blue-green algae in the water

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Pierre Kory and his family playing in the water at Marshall Beach Saturday. Pierre Kory and his family playing in the water at Marshall Beach Saturday.

MADISON (WKOW) --- A surge of blue-green algae in Madison area waterways is improving. Officials are keeping a close eye on the lakes as beach-goers hit the water this weekend.

Johnathan Finnerud likes to get out on Lake Mendota as much as possible.

“I paddle board on Lake Monona, Mendota typically. Or just go swimming if I don't have the time to get my paddle board out,” Finnerud said.

But the goop invading Madison-area lakes might put a hold on his plans.

Officials said blue-green algae blooms are beginning to spring up in local waterways.

“The area near Tenney Park probably had the most possibility of blue-green algae. And then less as you moved west towards Picnic Point,” said James Tye, with the Clean Lakes Alliance.

People can become ill after swimming in lakes with blooms. So officials were out Saturday monitoring conditions.

“Myself and a supporter of the Clean Lakes Alliance went out this morning and checked all of the spots on Lake Mendota yesterday that had blue-green algae,” Tye said.

“I've heard stories of rash, and sickness, and stuff like that,” Finnerud said.

Blooms tend to grow when there is a lot of sunlight, the water temperature is high, and the wind is calm. In Wisconsin, blooms typically peak between July and September.

The thought of the guacamole-thick mold in the water didn't seem to bother Pierre Kory, who was at Marshall Beach with his family.

“We swim in there all the time. Never had a problem, never had a skin irritation or anything like that,” Kory said.

Kory said until the beach is shut down, they'll keep swimming.

“Trying to find the spot that are left that are not overrun with toxic algae.”

Several beaches around Lake Mendota were closed Saturday, including Tenney, James Madison and Memorial Pier.

Click here for more information about beach closures in the area.

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