Minsker said swimming at the South Abutment Beach is not permitted, but the beach and its facilities are open to the public. Rangers have posted signs and are handing out brochures, he said.
Blooms have not been reported at the Bee Run Beach, but they are present both upstream and downstream. The beach is available for use at this time, but signs are up to inform the public of potential risk.
Hunt encourages the public to continue to come out.
"The lake is safe," Hunt said. "Scare tactics shouldn't stop people from enjoying a great asset we have here in West Virginia. They shouldn't cancel family vacations they've had planned for a year."
Dr. Rahul Gupta, the health officer and executive director at Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, said blue-green algae does contain toxins that are associated with negative affects on the liver and nervous system in both people and animals.
"Also when you have these toxins, the algae can become airborne and trigger asthma in humans as well as other allergic reactions," Gupta said. "You definitely don't want to be swimming in that ... the seeing-eye test is not always correct. Even if water looks clear, it could have potential pathogens."
The Corps of Engineers plans to increase the outflow at the Sutton Dam from 300 cubic feet per second to 1,000 cubic feet per second over a four-hour period Friday morning to determine if releases can reduce the growth of the blue-green algae in the lake.
The release is within normal flow levels, and the volume will dilute any toxin concentrations to levels that will not cause adverse health effects in downstream areas.
Park Rangers at Sutton Lake are working with the local health department and the Department of Natural Resources to monitor the water quality and inform visitors.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Water Quality Team will continue to collect samples for cell counts. When cell counts go below 100,000 cells per milliliter, caution signs will be changed to advisory signs. When cell counts go below 20,000 cells per milliliter for two consecutive weeks, signs will be removed. The cell counts will be posted on the Huntington District website at www.lrh.usace.army.mil/ .
Minsker said no other lakes in the Huntington District show signs of a hazardous bloom of blue-green algae.
For more information, call the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Public Affairs division at 304-399-5353 or 304-360-5757.