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Leech-infested lake re-opens at NY state park

NEW PALTZ, N.Y. (AP) -- Families spending the Fourth of July at Lake Minnewaska State Park in the Catskill Mountain region will be allowed back to a beach closed by a leech infestation earlier in the week, but they're advised to avoid the shallows.

State officials had closed the beach after dousing the water with the pesticide copper sulfate to try to kill bloodsucking leeches that had become numerous there. The treatment wasn't very effective.

Park manager Eric Humphrey tells the Times Herald-Record of Middletown ( ) that swimmers will be allowed to enter the water by stepping off a metal dock into deeper water, since the leeches congregate at the water's edge.

Leeches are common in freshwater lakes and aren't harmful beyond the "ick" factor of finding them attached to one's body, swelling with blood.

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Washington Times