The closure of Abiquiu Lake, announced by the Albuquerque District Office of the US Army Corps of Engineers Tuesday, feels like an official declaration that summer is finally over: the last golden August afternoons of swimming, cliff jumping and boating cut short by an untimely blue-green algae bloom.
The Corps of Engineers posted signs around the lake earlier today warning that the Cerrito Day-Use Recreation Area, including the swim beach and the boat ramp, will be closed indefinitely until the blue-green algae recedes to levels that are safe for humans and animals. Though camping is still permitted and the Rio Chama Day-Use Area downstream from the dam remains open, the Corps has advised against would-be end-of-summer fun-havers from participating in water recreation activities on the lake until further notice.
As disappointing as this may be for anyone trying to get in one last leisurely weekend on the lake before school starts, it's probably best to follow the advice. According to the news release, skin exposure can cause rashes, blisters and hives, and swallowing contaminated water can cause asthma and flu-type symptoms, dizziness, numb limbs, diarrhea, vomiting and neurotoxicity that in very rare cases can even lead to death.
Your dogs can get sick from it too, so if you still decide to go camping, keep your pups out of the water.
The chief of Public Affairs at the Albuquerque District Office of the US Army Corps of Engineers has not yet responded to an SFR inquiry about what has caused the algae bloom.