Off-color algae bloom closes Madison beaches


An algae bloom on Madison waters has closed beaches Friday, according to a group that monitors lake water.

Adam Sodersten, spokesman for the Clean Lakes Alliance in Madison, says a blue-green algae bloom hit the south shore of Lake Mendota Friday afternoon.

Tenney and James Madison beaches and the Union Pier were closed to swimming, Sodersten said.

Sarah Mattes, with Public Health Madison & Dane County, said the blue-green algae is toxic to animals. It's also bad for people. If you get it on you, you should wash it off immediately. If you ingest it, you could become ill.

Mattes said the algae bloom spotted Friday had a different look than the usual blue-green blooms; it had a white sheen to it.

The Clean Lakes Alliance maintains a map of area lakes and beaches, which it updates with water quality and closures. Visit to see monitor if the beaches have reopened.

Sodersten said the area lakes are always changing, and the bloom could move away as fast as it formed.

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