Algal toxins kill dog at California’s Konocti Bay (Clear Lake)

16 August 2013

Seems that Clear Lake is not so clear right now, in fact a tad turbid with algae.   If its owners had been better informed they might have been aware of the risks of letting your dog go into green, soupy water.

Lake County officials said they have confirmed elevated levels of algae-related toxins in samples of Konocti Bay water taken following the death of a dog that fell ill after swimming in the bay.  The microcystins found are associated with certain types of blue-green algae.  A dog visiting Clear Lake with its owners became severely ill the first week of August and had to be euthanized, health officials said. The dog had played fetch in water where there had been thick algal blooms.

Algal blooms are in the news in Korea – and concern has been voiced that departments need to work together to solve the problems.

Labour Day festivities at New Yorks Honeoye Lake were cancelled due to an algal bloom.  Users of water from Wisconsin’s Lake Winnebago are becoming aware of the risks associated with blue-green algae in water supplies.  A $750000 study is being undertaken to determine whether toxins are being produced in the lake.  Seems very expensive for what is now a relatively simple analytical procedure.

Concerns have been raised in Florida regarding the risks of polluted water being released from Lake Okeechobee to the St Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers:

Local scientists fear conditions are ripe for massive algae blooms, decimated commercial fishing and a seemingly never ending supply of dark water to taint our pristine beaches. With tourism a three billion dollar industry in lee county and commercial fishing [is] not far behind.

Allied to this are concerns that the press may not be providing the full story (see link here).

Other reports indicate that coastal restaurants in Florida have had to modify their menus as a result of the risks of toxins in seafood.

Several restaurants along the Treasure Coast are modifying menus after managers see an increase in toxic algae concerns relating to the quality of seafood. Patrons are questioning if the fish on the menu near waterfront eateries near the St. Lucie Estuary is safe to eat.

An algal bloom has been reported for Vancouver Lake.

Vancouver Lake Regional Park will remain open to the public, however, health officials are advising people to avoid direct contact with the water. Blue-green algae produces toxins that can be harmful to people and deadly for small pets that drink the water.  Health officials advise against swimming, wading, windsurfing and sailboarding in Vancouver Lake.

Something may have been lost in translation but apparently “toxic seaweeds” have been reported in Paraguay’s Ypacaraí Lake.

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