Bacteria prompts warning to not eat fish caught at Manasquan Reservoir

    Image: By Lamiot (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

    Image: By Lamiot (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

    Tests revealing high levels of a harmful algae-like bacteria have prompted state and county officials to warn the public to not eat fish caught at the Manasquan Reservoir.

    The bacteria, known as “cyanobacteria” or blue-green algae, can cause an adverse reaction in humans and pets.

    “Cyanobacteria frequently impart off‐tastes and odors to the water in which they grow, and sometimes they produce toxins that can be harmful to the health of humans and other animals,” a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection fact sheet states. “Although problems related to cyanobacteria most often occur in freshwaters (lakes and streams), cyanobacteria can also be found in marine waters.”

    In addition to not eating fish caught in the waterbody, pets should not drink the water, and all should avoid direct contact.

    Anyone who drinks or swims in the water could experience gastroenteritis, skin irritation and allergic responses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    An official with the Manasquan Water Supply System said the bloom is not impacting the water supply and would removed by a filtration system regardless. 

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.