New York officials have added broad warnings against eating any fish caught in areas with visible blooms of blue-green algae to the latest lengthy edition of cautions against contaminants in sport-fish.
Updated annually by the health and conservation departments, advisories note microscopic algae are naturally present in lakes and streams but can mass in warm, shallow, undisturbed surface water. Blooms discolor the water and form surface scum. While most algae are harmless, some produce toxins.
Possible risks are nausea, vomiting, skin irritation, allergic reactions and harm to the liver and nervous system. Five cases were reported statewide in 2011 and none so far in 2012, according to the Health Department.