State officials declare health alerts for two Nebraska lakes

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP)- State officials have issued new health alerts for two southeastern Nebraska lakes tainted by toxic algae.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission says in a news release that alerts have been issued for Rockford Lake in Gage County and Wagon Train Lake in Lancaster County. A similar alert continues for Harlan County Reservoir in south-central Nebraska.

Samples taken earlier this week at the lakes showed elevated levels of microcystin, a toxin released by certain strains of blue-green algae.

The alerts mean swimming beaches at the lakes are closed. Boating and fishing are permitted, but officials advise people and pets to avoid exposure to the water. People can still use the public areas for camping, picnics and other outdoor activities.