CAMPING numbers to Ararat’s Green Hill Lake Reserve are down this summer and concerns have been raised that blue-green algae signs may be part of the problem.
The signs are managed by Ararat Rural City Council and warn that the toxic algae may be present in the lake.
They have been on display throughout the holiday period.
However, it is unclear as to whether there are any blue-green algae blooms present.
Green Hill Lake Development Board treasurer and assistant secretary Morris Allgood said he didn’t want the signs to unnecessarily impact people’s decision to visit the lake.
“I think the signs certainly deter people,” he said.
“As far as the campers go, the numbers are down a lot this year and I think it's because of the low water and the fact that the council still has the algae signs up around the lake,” he said.
“I've asked council to check these and see if they still need to be up.
“I can't see any (algae) in it myself but I'm not an expert.”
Council chief executive, Dr Tim Harrison said there were “several reasons” why the signs had been left up.
“While there may not be any blue green algae present right now, low water levels, no fresh rainfall inflows, high nutrient levels from water birds, and hot weather all contribute to a concentration of nutrients that lead to blue green algal blooms or algal blooms in general,” he said.
"As a result, the council has decided to leave the signs in place until after the holiday season as this is the time of year where algal blooms are likely to occur.
“The signs will be taken down in Autumn or once the risk of an algal bloom has passed, that being a heavy rain event and milder weather."
Mr Allgood said until then, the signs may remain a deterrent.
“Numbers are quite down,” he said.
“It's probably around 80 now. Sometimes we get up around 200 campsites and they stay until the end of January.”
While you’re with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox each Friday morning from The Ararat Advertiser. To make sure you’re up-to-date with all the news from Ararat and districts, sign up here.