(Host) Toxic blue-green algae has begun to bloom in northern reaches of Lake Champlain.
Some forms of the algae can produce poisons in the water as they break down. The Health Department says humans should stay out of affected water – and so should pets.
Several years ago, two dogs died after drinking water from the lake where there were blooms.
This summer, the worst areas are around the Route 78 bridge in Swanton.
Wind and water currents can move the blooms to different parts of the bay. So health officials warn swimmers to be cautious.
Scientists say the only way to know if a bloom is toxic is to test it. But Mike Winslow of the Lake Champlain Committee says the blooms that can lead to releases of toxins are obvious.
(Winslow) “The blue-green algae blooms, it’s like paint sitting on the water. They’ve got this sort of fluorescent green or blue hue to themn. There will be other algae that are kind of stringy and just a vegetation green. Those typically aren’t blue-green blooms. We’ve seen a lot of those around, too.”
(Host) The state Health Department and the Lake Champlain Committee post warnings on their Web sites when tests show that blooms are toxic.
Links to them can be found at VPR.net.