Health advisory issued for BROWNLEE RESERVOIR
Southwest District Health, Idaho Power, and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) are issuing a health
advisory for BROWNLEE RESERVOIR from the area near Mountain Man Resort including from Wolf Creek on the Idaho
side to Canyon Creek on the Oregon side, urging residents to use caution when recreating in or near the water.
Recent samples taken from the water body indicate high concentrations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria, which can be
harmful to people, pets, and livestock. Those with liver or kidney damage are at an increased risk of illness.
Cyanobacteria are a natural part of Idaho’s water bodies. When temperatures rise, their populations can bloom and
toxic chemical compounds, or cyanotoxins, can be released into the water. Blooms can vary in appearance, and may
look like mats, foam, spilled paint, or surface scum, and have a foul odor.
When recreating near or in BROWNLEE RESERVOIR, take the following precautions while the advisory is in effect:
Avoid swimming, wading, or other activities. Take extra precautions to ensure children, pets, and livestock are
not exposed to the water.
Do not drink or cook with water containing a bloom. Boiling and filtering the water can increase the risk.
Wash your hands thoroughly after handling fish caught in water experiencing a bloom. Cyanotoxins can
accumulate in fish and the risk to people is being researched. Any fish caught should be cleaned and washed
thoroughly in uncontaminated water and any internal organs disposed of before consumption. If people choose
to eat fish from this area, filet the fish and remove all of the fat, skin, and organs before cooking.
Clean with potable water as soon as possible if water contacts skin or pet fur.
Symptoms of cyanotoxin exposure include rashes, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, and/or wheezing. More severe
symptoms affecting the liver and nervous system may result from ingesting water. If symptoms persist, consult your
healthcare provider.
The public will be advised when it is likely the concern no longer exists.
For more information about harmful algal blooms and recreation water quality advisories, visit DEQ’s website at


DEQ media contact: Chase Cusack 208.373.0490
SWDH media contact: Katrina Williams 208.455.5317