Residents concerned about algae blooms at Lake Poinsett

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LAKE POINSETT, S.D. - Lakes have flooded across the region this year, and Lake Poinsett is no exception. Water levels are still higher than usual, and now ripe weather conditions have led to the spread of algae.

A video shows Hart Nordbye shoveling some of the mess off his property, and he said he's skeptical about other substances being in the water. Among some of the thicker substances he's shoveled up, he's found plenty of dead fish too.

"I can't think of a single lake in my area that hasn't suffered from an algae bloom at one time or another," Todd St. Sauver said, who is the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks area fishery supervisor.

St. Sauver presides over southeastern South Dakota's fisheries and said Lake Poinsett deals with two different algae blooms. One is pretty common, which is green algae. The more dangerous one is a blue green algae.

"They behave much in the same way as regular plant algaes but as a byproduct of the cyanil can release a toxic substance, and if animals ingest that at too high a level it can be fatal," he said.

Nordbye has realized this as water slowly moves towards his house, his dog is usually kept inside because of the chance it could ingest some of those substances. Hopefully, this won't be the living solution for long though as the seasons slowly change again as cooler waters will reduce some of the algae blooms.

St. Sauver said if it looks or smells bad, then the general rule is to just stay away from it.