Don’t get in the water: Harmful Algal Bloom advisories in place for certain parts of Lake Anna


FILE – In this Thursday, July 12, 2018 file photo, an algae bloom appears on the Caloosahatchee River at the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam in Alva, Fla. A study released on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, shows America’s rivers are changing color, mostly because of what people are doing. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) advisories are in place for certain parts of Lake Anna in Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania counties, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

Public health officials are warning people to avoid water contact within the North Anna and Upper Pamunkey Branches, including Terry’s Run, of Lake Anna.

Some harmful algae, called cyanobacteria, can cause skin rash and gastrointestinal illnesses, such as upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, says VDH.

The particular areas to avoid can be seen on an interactive Algal Bloom Surveillance Map.

A status report containing the updated advisory areas may be viewed at Lake Anna Status Report 10.18.21.

Unsafe levels of potential toxin-producing cyanobacteria in those areas cause the continued swimming advisories.

People and pets are advised to avoid swimming, windsurfing and stand-up paddle-boarding.

The samples collected downstream at the confluence of the two branches, at the Lake Anna State Park beach and at the 208 bridge indicated the cyanobacteria densities were at acceptable levels and do not necessitate a swimming advisory, according to VDH.

The sections of the lake currently under advisory (no change in advisory extents compared to September):

Pamunkey Branch

  • From the upper inundated waters of the Pamunkey arm of the lake downstream to the 612 Bridge. Includes Terry’s Run.

North Anna Branch

  • From the upper inundated waters of the North Anna arm of the lake downstream to above the confluence with Pamunkey Branch above Goodwins Point. Does not include “the Splits.”

VDH said Algae blooms can occur when warm water and nutrients combine to make conditions favorable for algae growth. Most algae species are harmless but some species may produce irritating compounds or toxins. Avoid discolored water or scums that are green or bluish-green because they are more likely to contain toxins.

Contact the Virginia Harmful Algal Bloom Hotline at 1-888-238-6154 if you suspect you experienced health-related effects following exposure to a bloom.

For more information visit

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