Toxic algae closes Prospect Lake in Colorado Springs

WATCH Toxic Algae closes Prospect Lake

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - It’s a disturbing sight: hundreds of dead fish lining the beach at Prospect Lake, which remains closed after a water sample showed signs of toxic algae.

Raleigh Goss, who grew up fishing at Prospect lake, said, “I spoke to a guy that cleans the park, and he said that yesterday he cleaned up 500 on the shore alone and the other day 276 out in the water so it’s pretty sad to see.”

Blue-green algae, which is a harmful algae, has made Prospect Lake unusable for people and pets. But what is it, exactly, and where does it come from?

Erik Rodriguez, Environmental Health and Safety Specialist explains, “Just the algae that occur when there is a lot of nutrients in the water and we get a lot of natural daylight. It forms a toxin called mycrocystin and that’s actually our hazard here.”

But just how harmful is this algae?

“The algae is pretty dangerous, we did lose three dogs in North Carolina this last weekend because of it," said Rodriguez. "It’s the same algae that we are experiencing in our lake, that’s why we are recommending that people don’t let their dogs, kids or themselves in the lake.”

Through rain, colder temps or when the lake runs out of nutrients, the algae will go away on its own. Parks and Rec along with Colorado Parks and Wildlife and El Paso County Health will be running weekly tests in the meantime.

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