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New Jersey — The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection issued a warning on Twitter Thursday, advising the public to stay away from Lake Hopatcong.

From aerial surveillance, the department was able to detect that there was an extensive harmful algal bloom in the lake, which occurs when algae colonies grow out of control and produce harmful and toxic effects.

The department has advised everyone to avoid contact with New Jersey’s largest lake, meaning no swimming, jet skiing, drinking the water, eating fish caught in the lake and more. Pet and livestock should also be kept away from the water.

The bacteria in the harmful algal blooms can cause rashes if you touch the water, and abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, flu-like symptoms and more if you consume the water, according to 

The department said that the recreational advisory could go on for weeks or longer. In the meantime, it has recommended that local health authorities close the following beaches along the lake:

    • Lake Hopatcong State Park Beach
    • Forest Hills Yacht Club Drive
    • Elba Avenue
    • Mount Arlington Municipal Beach
    • Sand Harbor Beach
    • Clearwater Beach
    • Bass Rock Beach
    • Pebble Beach Road