ST. MARYS — On the weekend the community would have been celebrating the Governor’s Cup boat races, the state has lifted its advisory against boating on Grand Lake St. Mary’s.
Officials from the Ohio Departments of Health and Natural Resources and the Ohio Environment Protection Agency announced Thursday they were lifting an advisory against boating on Grand Lake.
The change comes after recent tests on the lake’s toxin levels. I bacteria commonly referred to as blue green algae has caused inflated levels of both nerve and liver toxins, prompting the state to advise against boating, swimming and eating fish caught from the lake.
The most recent tests show a decline in those toxins, according to Ohio EPA Spokeswoman Dina Pierce.
“The last couple weeks, the results have been pretty good, so after a second week of low toxin levels… we agreed to drop it back down,” Pierce said.
Ironically, the boating advisory was lifted on the weekend the lake would have typically hosted the annual Governor’s Cup Regatta. The annual boat races were canceled earlier this summer as a result of the state’s advisory. Organizers will instead throw a Save the Lake Musicfest beginning at 1 p.m. today at Celina’s Lakeshore Park.
Pierce said it’s uncertain exactly what caused the improvement in the lake’s water quality, but milder weather and the lack of rain runoff driving more nutrients into the water are likely suspects.
Despite the improvements, the state is still advising against contact with the lake’s water and eating any fish caught from Grand Lake.
“This is an advisory. It is still up to the individual to decide for themselves,” Pierce said. “We’re doing this not because we know there’s something wrong, but because we don’t know.”