Algae forces Baboosic Lake closure

Baboosic Lake was closed to public swimming by the state Friday because of an outbreak of blue-green algae.

The algae was spotted in the water earlier this week, and after tests the Department of Environmental Services announced the closing.

Baboosic Lake straddles Amherst and Merrimack.

“It basically looks like someone took a green sponge and chopped it up to a million pieces and threw it into the lake,” said Joe Fentross, a lifeguard at the Amherst town beach.

Algae has shown up in the lake before, but usually not until much later in the summer, after the beach already has shut for the season, said Amherst Recreation Director James Doane.

It is not clear how long the shutdown will last.

“We’ll keep a close eye on it, and as soon as we get the green light we’ll (reopen),” he said.

Blue-green algae has the potential to produce toxins as part of its regular life cycle, which can be harmful to some forms of life.

David Brooks can be reached at 594-5831 or