State: Don't swim in Lake Hopatcong or even touch the water

Posted: Updated:
LAKE HOPATCONG -

(AP) - New Jersey environmental officials say people shouldn't swim in Lake Hopatcong or even touch the water because aerial surveillance confirms the presence of an extensive harmful algal bloom.

The warning issued Thursday also urged people to not eat fish caught in the lake or windsurf, kayak, paddleboard or ride Jet Skis there. Pet owners should also keep their animals clear of the lake.

Officials say the advisory could remain in place "for weeks, if not longer." They note several people have already gotten mild skin rashes from touching the water.

People along the lake began reporting blooms on June 17. Since then the Department of Environmental Protection says it's received 30 more reports of blooms in the 4-square-mile lake which straddles the border of Sussex and Morris counties.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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