North Platte, Neb. – Visitors to the Hershey Beach area at Sutherland Reservoir near Sutherland, Neb., are asked to refrain from entering the water until further notice as a precaution.
Nebraska Public Power District, which owns the lake, found what appears to be blue-green algae along the shoreline at Hershey Beach. Monday, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality took samples and will be conducting an analysis to determine exactly what the material is.
Results are expected back later this week and, as a precaution, NPPD is asking the members of the public and their pets to refrain from swimming or walking in the water until those results are in. Once the analysis is completed, NPPD will be working with both the DEQ and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission to determine the next step of action, if necessary.
Blue-green algae, which can be toxic, exists naturally in marine waters, rivers, lakes, and ponds, but it can be harmful to humans and animals in high enough quantities.