Officials: Lake Hopatcong remains unsafe for swimmers due to algae bloom

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LAKE HOPATCONG -

State officials say that it is still unsafe to swim in Lake Hopatcong due to a dangerous algae bloom.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection issued the warning at the end of June after Cyanobacteria blooms were detected in the water.

Swimming is prohibited, and DEP officials are advising people against canoeing, kayaking and Jet Skiing. The algae can cause skin rashes and gastrointestinal illness if people make contact with the water.

Fisherman Greg Delrusso says that he is getting ready for a bass tournament on the lake this weekend. He believes he will be OK since he will be in a larger boat.

RELATED: Environmental officials warn to stay out of Lake Hopatcong due to algae bloom 
RELATED: State warns to stay away from waters of Lake Hopatcong 

“Sometimes boating across the lake, it’ll splash up in on you a little bit,” he says. “You just have to like shower right after and make sure you stay clean…I think you’ll be OK.”

The DEP says that the rapid spread of the bloom can be blamed on runoff from heavy rainfall and the warmer weather.

Some who work along the lake says that the warning couldn’t have come at a worse time. They say that their businesses are taking a hit – especially on the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

“Usually right now you would see cars as far as possible…They fill up this whole lawn every year. And this year, well you see, it’s a ghost town around here,” says Andy Patin, of Andy’s Hot Dogs.

State officials say that they are unsure how long the bloom will last, adding that it could last until the fall.

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