blue-green algae

Wikimedia Commons Willem van Aken

People heading out to lakes and rivers are reminded to be on the lookout this summer for blue-green algae blooms on water bodies across the state. Some blue-green algae are capable of making toxins that can cause illnesses for people and animals who accidentally ingest or inhale water containing algae, or have prolonged skin contact with the algae.

DNR blue-green algae coordinator Gina LaLiberte says blue-green algae are a photosynthetic bacteria in every lake and river in Wisconsin...

Wisconsin DNR

We're entering into the time when growth of blue-green algae blooms on stagnant water poses a threat to pets and to a lesser degree, humans. The DNR has received reports of blooms on some southern lakes and blooms will continue to appear throughout the state as the summer months continue.

Water Resource Management specialist for the DNR, Gina LaLiberte, says some blooms can produce toxins and if ingested or inhaled. While humans can get sick from the water, the biggest threats are to dogs who will drink water humans won't...

Mark Miller / http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pelican_Lake_Fishing_7-3-2009.jpg

The DNR has confirmed the presence of blue-­green algae located in Pelican Lake in eastern Oneida County.  The algae appears in late summer and can be a health hazard for humans and animals. Oneida County Registered Sanitarian Jody McKinney talked with Ken Krall about the problem. 

McKinney says seek immediate medical help from a doctor or veterinarian if people or pets are exposed to blue­green algae.

Dwight Burdette

Late summer in the Northwoods means it’s time to watch out for blue green algae blooms in lakes and ponds.  

The algae often produces toxins that can cause rashes and breathing problems in humans.  Pam Pedersen is a nurse with Vilas County Public Health Department.  She says it can be especially harmful for pets that may drink or swim in murky water.