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Posted Monday, July 29th, 2019


The state Department of Environmental Protection’s advisory about bodily contact with lake water has been lifted for just one section of Lake Hopatcong, the Indian Harbor area in the northeast section of the lake.

Measurements in Indian Harbor indicate that cyanobacteria levels are below the state’s 20,000 cells per milliliter advisory threshold. Bacteria levels at Indian Harbor on two consecutive samplings were below health standards, at 19,000 on July 23 and 18,500 on July 25.

map of Lake Hopatcong showing Indian Harbor section

Map of Lake Hopatcong showing Indian Harbor section

The DEP, in a statement, said it remains very important for residents and visitors to be aware that elevated bacteria levels continue throughout the majority of the lake. However, there is no suggested limitation on more passive boating that does not involve bodily contact with lake water.

Indian Harbor, which is only accessible by boat, is near beaches that will not be accessible due to continued high bacteria levels, including Pebble Beach, Sand Harbor and Bass Rock Beach, which all have levels 24,500 or higher.

“We rely on science to tell the public when it is safe to swim in Lake Hopatcong,” said DEP Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe. “We are pleased to lift the advisory in Indian Harbor, but urge caution to anyone planning to enjoy the lake because bacteria levels remain high in the majority of the lake.”

The advisory applies only to bodily contact with the water. Boating and other non-contact recreation are not considered dangerous.

Although the advisory is lifted in Indian Harbor, the advisory continues for the majority of Lake Hopatcong and DEP recommends that the public avoid bodily contact with lake water in other areas. Swimming and watersports such jet-skiing, water-skiing, paddle-boarding, canoeing or kayaking should be avoided outside of Indian Harbor.