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Recreation on DeWeese Reservoir limited due to a natural algae bloom
DeWeese Reservoir State Wildlife Area is currently experiencing a blue-green algae bloom that could harm humans or their pets that ingest the water while swimming or wading. At this time, all skin-to-water contact should be avoided for humans and pets. Fishing is still allowed. Toxins accumulate in the liver and guts, so fish that are properly cleaned and thoroughly cooked should be fine for consumption.

DeWeese Reservoir SWA is a 300-acre property near Westcliffe with good fishing. Other forms of recreation still allowed at the SWA include: picnicking, hiking, wildlife viewing and camping.

Algae are an important part of aquatic food webs, but some types of blue-green algae are capable of producing toxins that may cause negative health impacts for humans and pets at elevated concentrations. Currently there is no method to remove toxins from lakes.

Humans and their pets are advised to be “algae aware” by avoiding recreating in waters with visible algae blooms and following the instructions on all signs posted about blue-green algae.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) recommends the following:
• Keep kids out
• No pets in water
• Do not drink water
• Avoid contact with algae
More information on blue-green algae is available on CDPHE’s website.

The public can help reduce the occurrence of blue-green algae blooms by preventing nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) from entering waterways through responsible use of lawn fertilizers, picking up pet waste, and avoiding using deicers that contain urea.