MARSHALL, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) — Cyanotoxins or blue-green algae is present in many bodies of water and Lincoln Trail State Park advises visitors that ‘when in doubt, keep out!’

“The EPA came out and looked at it and took some samples and we’re still waiting for the results. We don’t know yet if we have that problem or not. But we’re just trying to be cautious,” Lincoln Trail State Park, Site Superintendent, Tom Hintz said.

During periods of warm, dry weather the bacteria may reproduce quickly and cause potentially toxic blooms.

The Illinois EPA warns people and pets should avoid water that has:

  • bright green streaks
  • thick scums
  • discoloration (blue, green, brown, or white)
  • blue or green dried crusts
  • strong odors

Due to a potential outbreak at Lincoln Trail State Park, Hintz said, “The main thing is, people need to wash their hands. Make sure they don’t get any in their eyes, their mouth. You can’t swim here anyhow, but we just want to make sure no one lets their dogs jump in the water. Dogs can get really ill from that, possibly even die from the cyanotoxins.”

For more information about blue-green algae and the effects exposure can have on humans and other animals, visit the IDPH website here.

Hintz also said that despite not being able to swim, there is still plenty to see and do at Lincoln Trail State Park.

For questions related to the park, call the park office at 217-826-2222.