PROVO, Utah — Utah Department of Environmental Quality officials say toxic algae populations decreased markedly last week in Utah Lake due to stormy weather, but officials say residents should stay out of the water for a few more weeks.

A Utah Department of Environmental Quality algae specialist Ben Holcomb says cell counts in samples collected from four locations on the lake Thursday topped out at about 5,000 cells per milliliter. He says previous samples were as high as half a million cells per milliliter.

But according to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality and Utah Department of Health guidelines, the advisory to stay out of the water can only be rescinded after two straight weeks of samples indicate the hazard has passed.