State: Don't Swim In New Jersey Lake Or Even Touch The Water

June 27, 2019 - 3:20 pm

LAKE HOPATCONG, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey environmental officials say people shouldn't swim in Lake Hopatcong or even touch the water because aerial surveillance confirms the presence of an extensive harmful algal bloom.

The warning issued Thursday also urged people to not eat fish caught in the lake or jet ski, wind surf, kayak or paddle board there. Pet owners should also keep their animals clear of the lake.

Officials say the advisory could remain in place “for weeks, if not longer.” They note several people have already gotten mild skin rashes from touching the water.

People along the lake began reporting blooms on June 17. Since then the DEP says it's received 30 more reports of blooms in the 4-square mile lake which straddles the border of Sussex and Morris counties.